Challenges Of A First Year Special Education Teacher

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There are numerous challenges a first year special education teacher must overcome if they are to successfully meet the learning demands of students with exceptionalities. It is vital that they develop a complete understanding of the students needs so effective goals, strategies, and accommodations can be implemented to help students succeed. This can be accomplished by scheduling frequent planning periods with school personnel, developing rapport with colleagues for effective collaboration, having a clear understanding of the teaching and by implementing the student’s IEP or 504 plans. Before beginning a teaching assignment is important to request and review a copy of the educational files for all students who have IEPs, 504 plans, or gifted. It is vital that IEPs, accommodations, modifications, and behavioral plans are implemented in the classroom to comply with the federally mandated guideline requirements. Without implementing these specialized services or supports the students’ ability to succeed is in jeopardy. It is important to ask fellow teachers and administrators where these services will be provided? Is there a study skills class or will assistance be given in the classroom? Furthermore, many IEPs or 504 plans are reviewed annually or reevaluated every three years. It is important to check the ending dates on these documents so they can be revised or updated as required. In addition, if the student is turning 16 they must have appropriate measurable postsecondary goals incorporated into the IEP. Next, additional information such as alternative assessments, state and district assessments, teacher-made tests, and other standardized assessments must be reviewed to determine the student’s present levels of academic perf... ... middle of paper ... ...s to help them visualize the problem (Gagnon & Maccini, 2001). Other strategies or accommodations may include the provision of visual organizers (Gagnon & Maccini, 2001). For example, structured worksheets, prompt cards, graphic organizers, or mnemonic strategies are effective in helping students remember the steps required for problem solving (Gagnon & Maccini, 2001). Students that are reading below grade level text can be provided with assistive technology devices that use screen readers and text-to-speech software. Other devices like reading pens can scan individual words or text so that students can hear the scanned text read aloud. It also has a dictionary and thesaurus that can be used for writing assignments. Additionally, students can be provided with audiobooks, colored transparent overlays to ease eyestrain, and extended time for all reading assignments.

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