Special Education Teacher

Special Education Teacher


Chicago, IL

Female, 32

From ’03-‘06, I was a special education teacher in Philadelphia as part of Teach for America. I taught children with mild to moderate special needs (primarily learning disabilities, attention deficits, cognitive disabilities, and behavioral problems) in grades 2 - 8 in all academic subjects. I saw a lot of things and learned a lot...especially the art of patience.

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41 Questions


Last Answer on April 03, 2018

Best Rated

Can you explain this to me in simple terms? "Scores/Interpretation: Areas and Total Test: Grade and age-based standard scores (M=100, SD=15) grade and age equivalents, percentile ranks and Growth Scale Values. Subtests: grade and age based scale....

Asked by Panda gal over 3 years ago

See responses below...

I have a first grade student who was recently placed in the resource room for work completion. Now the situation is worse. He waits to do all his work in the resource room. What can we do to get him back to working in the classroom?

Asked by Judi about 2 years ago

It's difficult to guess why the student is more willing to complete work in the resource room - could it be because the resource room is quieter, calmer, or has fewer distractions? Perhaps the student feels the resource teacher is better able to support him/her to complete work then the general education teacher? Perhaps the child is avoiding the general education classroom because of problems with a peer? Without knowing what is motivating the change in the child's behavior, it's difficult to know how to address it. Some ideas to try in general are presenting rewards or incentives for work completed in the general education classroom, letting the student choose certain items of work to complete in the resource classroom and requiring the student to complete other work in the general education classroom, or using time completing work in the resource classroom as a reward for work completed in the general education classroom. You could use a token reward system where the student earns tickets, stickers, or other small items each time work is completed in the general education classroom and use them to cash in for a prize of your choosing. Then over time you make it harder and harder for the student to earn the prizes so more and more work is expected to be completed in the general education classroom. It would also be good to consult with a school psychologist or social worker to see if they can assist you in supporting this student to complete more work in the general education classroom.

...scores (M=10, SD=3), and grade and age equivalents. It's from Key Math 3...

Asked by Panda gal over 3 years ago

This is a description of the The scores obtained from the key math assessment. M stands for mean, and a mean standard score of 100 is average on this assessment. SD stands for standard deviation, and a standard deviation of 15 points from the mean marks the top and bottom of the average range on this assessment. This means a child score that falls between 85 and 115 is within the average range on this assessment. A subtest scaled score has a mean of 10, so a score of 10 is exactly average on this assessment. Standard deviation for scaled scores is three on this assessment, which means that scores between seven and 13 on an individual subtest for the key math assessment are within the average range.

What is your role and responsibilities within the resource settings???

Asked by Delsen over 2 years ago

Typically, a resource setting refers to a special education classroom outside of a general education setting. Often it is a smaller group of students and only include students with some type of special need or IEP. Often there will be a special education resource teacher as well as a teacher assistant in a resource setting. A resource classroom is intended to provide small group individualized instruction for children whose needs cannot be met in a general education classroom. This may be due to academic or behavioral needs, and may include specially designed instruction such as explicit teaching repeated exposure to the general education concepts, or simply a slower pace of instruction and then is offered in the general education setting. The resource teacher may be responsible for meeting the IEP requirements for as many as 10 to 20 students with special needs, depending on state policies for teacher to student ratio in special education. The resource teacher is also responsible for coordinating IEP supports in a general education setting if a student spend some of their day and a general education classroom. So this means the resource teacher may be providing ideas or support to a general education teacher to help a student when they are in the general education classroom, or meeting with the related service personnel such as a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or social worker to discuss a students therapeutic supports listed in the child's IEP.

What accommodations are implemented in the general education classroom for students with disabilities and he would make this accommodation

Asked by Kathy over 1 year ago

There is a lot of variation in what type and how many accommodations a general education teacher may implement in a classroom for a student with disabilities. It could be as simple as rephrasing or repeating directions, or as complex as modifying all classroom work for a student. Typically accommodations are created by the IEP team together in an IEP meeting and the teacher, special education teacher, social worker, psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or physical therapist could all be involved in delivering accommodations, depending on what the specific accommodation is.

I am a special ed. teacher. The school day begins at 8:15, but my students do not get to school on transit until 8:15, and from there, go to breakfast. The school has begun holding all assemblies at 8:15 so my st. can't go. Handle this how?

Asked by Ashley about 2 years ago

This is definitely not best practice for including students with disabilities with their general education peers, and it is potentially a violation of the student's rights to access and participation in non-academic general education activities. Special education teachers must often act as advocates for their students to help ensure that they have equal access to all non academic activities. If you are unable to get the time of assemblies changed by speaking with the building administration or school district administration, you should encourage parents and teachers to address the concern with the school district administration and school board. If the school still does not take action, you can file a claim with the office of civil rights to be sure that the schedule is changed to accommodate all students.

What is your background? (years, education)
What drove you to choose special education?
What is your role as an special education professional?
What does it mean to you when you hear assessment?
How do you assess your students?
What type of techniques or tools of assessment do you utilize?
How do you communicate about student assessments? With teachers? To parents? Others?
What is the most difficult aspect of assessment?
What do you think is the most important aspect of assessment?
Tips for working with special education students? And their parents?

Asked by Special ed researcher about 1 year ago

I had a 4 year Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a 2 year Master's in Special Education and Elementary Education prior to completing certification as a Special Education Teacher. Many teachers have a 4 year Bachelor's degree in Education or Special Education and no additional degrees are required. Most states have additional requirements for taking a specific assessment related to education or special education knowledge prior to receiving certification to teach.

As a special education professional my main role was to create instructional plans for the students in my class to achieve their IEP goals. I would use the general education curriculum and other resources to create lessons and assessments to determine if the students had mastered the skills included in their IEP goals. This also often included collaboration with the general education teachers to be sure that my instruction in the special education resource classroom was effective in meeting the student's academic needs.

There are many types of assessment used in special education classrooms. There are formative assessments used to find out what information a child already has or has not mastered in order to plan classroom instruction. These may include quizzes, chapter tests, or unit assessments. Summative assessments are given at the end of instruction to see if students have mastered material already covered and may include final examinations for a large unit or for an entire course. Standardized assessments may be used to measure the general knowledge and concept mastery for students in a specific grade level. These are the state or national examinations administered each year (in most grade levels) that help states and federal governments determine if school's are functioning adequately in providing public education to students. Finally, there are other standardized tests or rating scales that may be completed during an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services. Some of these may be completed by a special education teacher but most are completed by other school special education personnel (social worker, school psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or physical therapist).

Communication of assessment results should be done in writing as well as in person so you can answer parents' questions about what an assessment is measuring and what the results tell them about their child's progress in school.

The most difficult aspect of assessment is often making sure the assessment is being conducted in an appropriate manner to effectively measure the child's skills. The wording of questions, setting of the assessment, method of getting a student's responses, and the time given to the student to respond all affect the accuracy of the assessment results, which are often used to make instructional and educational decisions for students.