We talk about the idea of “community” often in education. But what is that really? The word “community” has its roots in Latin (communitas) and is defined as a social group of any size who share common goals and values. Educators create a feeling of community within their classrooms by having their students develop the ground rules for the group. Community fits in nicely with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A sense of belonging to the group is closely tied to self-confidence, achievement, and mutual respect. But “community” within Special Education doesn’t stop there.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Developing a truly inclusive classroom is hard work. But others have done it successfully and we can too. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when we have our collective expertise and creativity to rely on and to share. PLC Consultants’ Module 5: The Inclusive Classroom provides the vehicle for ongoing, meaningful, and productive collaboration in a secure environment where sharing successes AND failures are an important part of the learning process. Take a look.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Writing a cogent, comprehensive, and understandable IEP is tough. Even with a standardized format, goal banks, and computerized writing tools, writing an IEP can daunting for even long-experienced folks. Sandwiched between basic information on the first page and everyone’s signatures on the back page are the student’s profile and his specially designed goals and objectives.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Of particular concern for regular classroom teachers is their role. As educational team members, they should be providing for information about what goes into the education plan, but often they nod in silent agreement, deferring to the special ed teacher. That’s understandable, but it makes it hard for the teacher to feel invested in the process or the outcomes.
Within the IEP itself, we are forced to ask ourselves hard questions. What kinds of supports, accommodations, or modifications are necessary and for what purpose? Have we considered the need for any assistive technology? We are going to struggle with the answers if we aren’t sure exactly what the differences are among all of these terms. That, in turn, erodes our confidence and makes us want to say, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Unfortunately, that’s not how the process works.
If you are one of the many teachers or administrators who aren’t sure about all this IEP writing stuff and what it means to be committed to the plan, take a look at Module 3: IEP Boot Camp I. You’ll find opportunities to share your anxieties AND your expertise through this online professional learning community.