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, each day this week, 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.
I was asked:
I would love to learn more about keeping data! Also, how much of their work do you keep. I am a paper challenged person and it is so hard for me to be organized. I am never sure which papers to keep for meetings. Maybe some gentle ways to get general ed teachers to feel more comfortable taking some of my students in their classes would help. :)
At the beginning of the school year, I make a manila folder for each student and they are stored alphabetically by last name in a “milk crate” by my desk. I fill this folder with anything I think is important about this student. Sometimes cute stuff or things that make me smile from this student also go in here. This includes notes from parents, teachers, or even the student. Any discipline records also go in here. All tests are kept in here until the end of the year. I also keep a log of communication with anyone about this student which includes the date, the person I communicated with, and a summary of what we talked about. When I have a meeting about this student, that folder is with me.
I hate filing all this paper so I usually have a basket that I put everything in when I get it. On Fridays I file everything and will not leave until that week’s filing has been completed. It is a lot like household chores to me. If I don’t stay on top of it, I will feel overwhelmed and not get anything accomplished so I do not let more than a week’s worth of filing build up.
I can’t tell you how many times this folder has saved me from a sticky situation. I am able to refer to items right there when they are brought up. I am able to show the parent how I am holding the student accountable and I have documentation right at my finger tips. If a parent says I haven’t contacted them, I am able to show an administrator my log of contacts.
This has been the best way that I have found that works for me. What have you found that works for you? Please share!
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'Sorting it out'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30231516@N00/399354425 by: Andy Ciordia