Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mock IEPs

stage Recently I asked some special education teachers in my Ravelry group (special ed teachers who knit and/or crochet) to help me prepare for the summer grad classes that I will be teaching. I asked them to give me input on specific topics that they would like me to address in class. They have an assigned textbook and we will review the topics from the book but there are many that are not covered in the textbook that I think are important. So, I will throw out a topic and see if you can give me your perspective on the topic so that I can cover this in the best possible way.

Today’s topic is about Mock IEPs.

When I thought about this topic, I realized that I don’t do this enough in my grad class so I will be doing more of this.

I also thought that this should be done in front of the whole faculty at a school at the beginning of the school year. It can be done in an auditorium on stage for the entire faculty to see as well as videotaped for those who miss this. I found out that each school and each district holds IEP meetings a little differently so this may be helpful for everyone. The whole special ed department can put on a mock IEP meeting for all the teachers so everyone will know what to expect. There may be new teachers who have never been to a meeting before so this will help calm their anxiety level. There may be some experienced teachers that were never told what their responsibilities are in a meeting and this would be helpful. I’ve had many general ed teachers tell me that they’ve never been to an IEP meeting before and plan to sit there and not say anything. Some others say too much (in an unprofessional manner) and I wish they would shut their mouths.

I could also do a “do/don’t do” skit to make it more enjoyable. Teachers love that as much as students. I used to do that when I taught about appropriate dress for the workplace. It was funny but it made a lasting impression.

As I said in a previous post, I think having a written agenda is very important as well as minutes from the meeting for all participants to sign. This would be a great way for the faculty to see that they will have a place on the agenda and that it is important to give their input in these meetings. It is also important for everyone to understand that the IEP is a legal document as well as the minutes of the meeting. When parent, students, and the school see that the whole team is being transparent and willing to meet the needs of the student as much as possible, everyone comes out a winner.

Do you do them? If so, how to you do it? What kind of setting is this done in? Do you give people a script? Please share your ideas!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'sarasota county fair' by: pat padua


Character Education said...

For me when I was studying in the college we were given an outline for the future regarding a subject. I think its one of the best way to teach the students, so shall they understand already what will be studying next.

Dan Callahan said...

I think this is a great idea for your class. Looking back at my own undergrad/graduate programs, I think one of the biggest missteps was the lack of interaction with the paperwork that would come to define much of my working time. Preservice teachers should know what good and bad paperwork looks like, and dos/don'ts for meetings.

Advocates for Inclusion said...

This is a great idea. I just got home from teaching about IEPs and it is hard to do! I am teaching a one-unit community college course. There are two self-paced lessons online at that are OK--if you review the information. I made a jeopardy game related to lessons 1-3 and it went ok. I'd be happy to share it if you email me. I'm sure it can be upgraded--I just gave the answers to them and they had to think of the questions in groups. Then everyone got a is the first time I have tried this.

I would love to share resources for a Mock IEP--or work on something collaboratively. My next class is in 2 weeks and I'm trying to figure out how to do something "live" that actualizes the information so it will stick with people.

I really love your blog, btw!

Advocates for Inclusion said...

P.S. I like the idea of Dos/Don'ts for meetings and would be happy to work on this collaboratively as well if anyone wants to. I have some ideas.

Jessie Anne said...

I can say that as a current student obtaining my MS in Elementary and Special Ed, we have not really had any formal training on the proper way to conduct an IEP meeting. This is concerning to me as I will begin student teaching next semester. We have learned about them sure, but I think having some sort of real world experience to better prepare us would be invaluable to our feeling of security when we actually get into the classroom.

I look forward to further posts on this!

Congerjan said...

What a wonderful idea. I wish our school district would do this at an inservice day. You can never be prepared enough for an IEP meeting. As a librarian sometimes I or the other special area teachers (art, music, and gym) are the only "regular ed" teachers an IEP student encounters. We are often called on to speak at the meetings.