During my time off I have thought of many things I am going to change or do differently this upcoming school year. There are already many changes in place out of my control a new classroom, new caseload assignment, new disability categories, and a new special education coordinator in my district. These are all changes that will impact me, but I can only be responsible for my reaction to them.
Last year seemed to be a crazy year and many areas and tasks screamed out for change. I have tried to group them to keep the list from getting to long. I am going to just discuss the things up for change in place of the things I am going to add at this point.
1. Create a section in my binder for each student. In the sections I will have their IEP, goal monitoring sheets for each goal/objective, and a parent contact form. This year I tried to do all of this electronically and it just did not work. It is easier is I have the monitoring forms readily available for myself, the student, or one of my paraprofessionals. I would love to have this digitized for the iPad at some point, but this might take same time.
2. Less of a pile of paper. I like to keep papers to document students' progress, but the papers create a huge mess of things to file or keep track of. I am hoping to use the app 3 Ring to keep digital artifacts that I can share at IEP meetings.
3. Send out a parent input form right away in the year. I would like to create a google survey for parents to share their preferred contact, preferred meeting dates/times, and information about their child (especially for my new students). I spend a lot of time scheduling meetings and it is hard when I have to wait to get responses about meetings to find out a parent doesn't use email or listen to voicemails.
4. Get students graphing. It was hard to have time for students to graph their IEP goals last year, but that is going to change. It is such a powerful experience!
5. Meet face to face with grade level teams. I am only working with 2 grade levels this year and I am working my schedule to be able to share a prep time once a week with both of them. During this time I hope to share my work with students we share. I will also ask them to share lesson plans or give me concepts, homework tasks, and tests/quizzes. I felt last year it was hard to communicate when I could not see those teachers and in the spring with schedule changes my paras are not always in the room to get the info. I have students who really benefit from knowing of schedule changes so hopefully by meeting I can get those in advance and help the student to be prepare for changes. It is always better for these types of students to go through the plan then to have it sprung on them.
6. More Tech Integration. As a digital learning coach I have seen many cool things done in classrooms and have researched things. I would like to really get multiple forms of integration going in my classroom. The more familiar I am the easier it is to help my peers.
7. Blog more. I started out blogging regularly and then got busy. I love having the outlet to blog and the connections it helps to make. I am lucky to have amazing experiences in the district I work in and I would like to share those with others.