Monday, February 20, 2006

General Education and the IEP process: a high school teacher's perspective

Link here to some ideas from Coach Brown re implementing IEP's in the general education classroom. I find real value in his insight, and appreciate the difficulty faced when gen ed teachers are handed IEP's they had no voice in creating.

Also relevant: his perception of the parent factor.....

"The parents have absolute sway once the document is implemented, so teachers that have a gripe about unreasonable modifications are pretty powerless. I had a minor incident this year where a parent thought that I wasn't going "all the way" with their child's modifications. I explained that a child in a college prep class should do more than fine with my implementation of the IEP. When they started to snarl, I backed off. It wasn't worth the potential distraction that it could create. "

I appreciate Coach Brown's advise not to hassle the spec ed teacher who is responsible for the paperwork, etc. However, the spec ed teacher does need and probably wants your input. It's best practice for a reason.

He also stipulates "Stand up for your classroom while in the IEP (management style, class policy, etc), but never say "I will not do that". It alienates everyone in attendance." That's a good reminder for all of us involved in the creation of this important document. Moreover, the focus needs to be on what is needed for the student to succeed.... not a referendum on the management style of a particular teacher.

May I add?.... instead of trying for "vague" accomodations, approach the idea of support with a very focused eye. Of course the accomodations must be "doable", but more importantly, they must be tailored to that child's needs. If you keep to what this kid requires based on his/her disability, going overboard is not likely. Maybe I am an optimist.

Lastly, he's right.....-"Document everything". Again, best practice.


Coach Brown said...

Thanks for the read :)

The only reason that I say "vague" is because what the team and the parents find as the appropriate focus could be very different, and in the end, the teacher and the district are liable.

Thanks again for reading.

Dick Dalton said...

I agree with your assessment and extended it a bit more at my own place. Of course, you were a lot more professional and gentle in your approach!;-)

I'll keep reading as long as you're willing to share!