How do teachers collaborate with the speech therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, and other service providers that work with students with disabilities?
· How do teachers collaborate with the speech therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, and other service providers that work with students with disabilities?
Teachers collaborate with speech therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, and other service providers that work with students with disabilities by providing data and critical information that relates to the child’s progress in the general education classroom. Often, as teachers, it is our duty to go the extra mile for children with disabilities to assure that they are receiving all accommodations/modifications stipulated in their 504 and IEP’s (if applicable).
· What are some helpful tips on how to work with parents of students with disabilities?
Something that helps me personally work with parents of students with disabilities is having a lot of patience. As educators we may face obstacles while working with these children, however, we need to keep in mind that we see them for 7-8 hours a day. Parents have their children for a lifetime. We need to be extra compassionate and careful with how we speak to these parents in regards to their children’s progress/ behavior. Also, keeping constant communication with parents is a key factor in their children’s education.
· How do general and special education teachers work together to facilitate the success of students with disabilities
General and special education teachers work together to facilitate the success of students with disabilities by coming together at the very minimum once a week to collaborate and share data taken in the classroom. Working together should always the number one priority when it comes to working with any child because it takes a TEAM to educate a child. Transparency and collaboration is very important in this department all while still keeping student/teacher confidentiality in mind.
· How do teachers advocate for students with disabilities (e.g.: how do they make sure students with disabilities are not discriminated against based on their disability status)?
Teachers advocate for their students with disabilities by standing up and defending whenever something unethical is taking place. We are children’s #1 line of defense in a school setting. We need to take action with the first incident to assure that no further incidents will take place. It’s important to teach what the word compassion exists, especially in the world we are living in today. Bullying is a pandemic that exists in most schools. It is our duty to fight, defend, and show children that school is a safe space. For many students, school IS the only safe space that they have. We need to keep it that way.
· How are accommodations applied in the classroom?
Accommodations are applied in the classroom first by stipulating it into our lesson plans. Accommodations can be as small as extended time on an exam to as big as allowing a child to wear specific clothing/attire that makes them feel comfortable at school. Accommodations are first established by a district approve professional and it is our duty and responsibility to apply this into the classroom. Personally, the accommodations that I use in the classroom are extended testing time, extended time on take home assignments, encouragement, positive reinforcement, small group lessons, repetition, and seating arrangements.
· How do teachers identify students that need RtI/Multi-tiered supports?
Teachers identify students that need multi tiered supports by first doing a universal screening at the beginning of the school year. After that, we can identify who is in need of multi tiered instruction. We first attempt at tier 1 which is most of the classroom population. Once data is retrieved and we see that a student is not showing gains or progress, we can then move them to tier 2 instruction, which is a small group of students (4-6 max). If tier 2 does not work based on data, then we can collaborate with an ESE specialist and parents to move them to tier 3, which would be individualized student support.
· How do teachers monitor and assess the RtI process in the classroom?
Teachers monitor and assess the RTI process in the classroom by taking data. This data is retrieved from the child’s progress in subjects such as reading, math, and writing.
· What are the responsibilities of teachers when it comes to providing Level 2 and Level 3 supports for students as part of RtI?
The first responsibility of teachers when it comes to tier 2 and 3 instruction is to make sure that the intervention is actually being completed. If no intervention is completed, then no data can be retrieved, if no data is retrieved, then the child may not receive the support or assistance needed after the tiers of intervention.
· What resources do teachers seek to plan for differentiating instruction and to best address the varying levels of support required by each student?
Personally, the resources I use to plan DI lessons is by using the Florida Wonders Differentiated Instruction curriculum. Thankfully, it’s all set up for us to be able to facilitate this instruction. At the current school I work at, we use I-ready diagnostic data to place children in the different levels of instruction which are beyond level, on level 1, on level 2, and approaching (ELLs can also fall into DI). Not all children learn the way we teach so we must change the way we teach in order for them to learn. Differentiated instruction does just that.
· What specific supports do teachers need when working with students with disabilities?
Specific supports teachers need when working with students with disabilities are obviously first the support of the school personnel such as ESE coach/director, special education teacher, counselors, therapists, and instructional coaches. The second most important support is the support of the parents. School professionals and families need to work together to insure the maximum progression of a student. As I previously mentioned, it takes a team to educate a child. We all need to be in this together, especially when it comes to working with children who have exceptionalities.
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