Up to my neck in IEPs

1 May

IEP season started ’round these parts in February, but really it has never ended. As soon as school started, addendums were being written to adjust services and schedules from those written just months earlier, while transfer students were being put through the process from scratch.

I’m visiting several middle schools this week, representing the high school for 8th graders transferring into the high school next year and without exception, I haven’t seen a familiar face yet. Every one of these teachers are new and I’m seeing brand new folks lead the IEP process. In many instances the LEA, the graduation coach and the regular ed teacher are also brand new. What this means is that a lot of parents are the most experienced people in the room when it comes not only to their child but to IEPs in general. These new teachers all use the same word to describe their experience with writing and delivering these IEPs:

Overwhelming.

In addition to attending and LEAing meetings for other teachers at this school and attending several others, I’m busy writing IEPs for my own students, which is no small job hence my lack of posting around here. It is THE most stressful and busy time of the year for special education teachers around the country. My blog gets a tidal wave of hits as my IEP series pops up on other blogs, search engines and discussion groups. I hope y’all find it helpful.

This business has put a crimp in my TeacherTube video postings but I have new footage that will be edited and posted at some point. I hope to shoot some more in a couple of weeks as the paperwork craziness slacks off a bit. I hope it slacks off a bit.

I do have some good ideas, courtesy of those new teachers that I talk to. Lesson plans, data sheets and data collection are towards the top of the list. I’m also looking forward to taking some classes this summer or maybe attending a conference or two and blogging those. I’d also like to get my online course up and running at least for our own county. I’ll be attending a class in a week that wraps up my Moodle training.

To all of you new teachers looking for resources, ideas and help; hang in there. Experience has taught me (if nothing else) is that every year it is crazy towards the end, and every year I am exhausted at the end and every year I some how make it through the experience. Just take it a day at a time, one step at a time and things will work out. Things will get crazy and sometimes very, very ugly. But you’ll make it if you’ve made it this far. Sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying.

D.

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