A challenging and rewarding career can await a special education teacher. But let’s be realistic: It’s no picnic as the demands can by trying. They must juggle the different personalities of their classroom students, the parents and school administrators. The workload can be heavy, too, in adapting teaching plans for children who may have an assortment of physical, mental and emotional disabilities.
It's one of the more common complaints parents of children with special needs make about the public schools in California: Not enough is being done to protect their child from harassment and bullying by other students.
Special education teachers may be going onto the endangered list. Their numbers have declined more than 17 percent in the decade leading to 2016. Why? There are many factors, but all have aligned to limit a special education teacher’s time in the classroom -- the sole reason many got into teaching in the first place.
Concerned about the lack of progress in the working relationship between you your child's teachers? There's a lot at stake in your contact with the special education department at your child's school such as:
The recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Free Appropriate Public Education just sent a welcome message for parents of children with disabilities: Your child must be given the opportunity to make significant progress in their learning environment—and not be passed along from year to year without real improvement.
California will make changes on how the state's special education teachers are trained, perhaps marking the latest step toward improving classroom experiences for students, as well as relations between parents, schools and teachers.
When it comes to suspension and expulsion, parents often wonder what their child’s rights are and what they aren’t. This is especially true for parents of students with disabilities.
A recent study by Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Irvine explores if institutionalized bias affects which students enter special education programs. The statistical breakdown of race/ethnic groups in special education shows a disproportionate amount of certain populations in the program when compared to their enrollment rates in the wider educational system—specifically American indigenous children and multi-racial children are enrolled at higher rates than their overall population suggests is normal.
Developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your child is just the first step. After you establish a plan, you need to continuously monitor your child for signs of improvement. The school’s teachers and specialists will evaluate your child, and work to determine progress, but you also need to assess their development outside of this formal environment.
Developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child is a time intensive process. The school evaluates your child, analyzes their learning style, schedules meetings with you and the rest of the IEP team and makes recommendations for your child’s education. What if you disagree with the school’s recommendation after investing all of that time and energy?