Saturday, June 27, 2015

SPED Summer Bloghop: Week 1 {Scheduling}

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For the next five weeks, a great group of special education teachers will be blogging about important beginning of the year topics for special education teachers. This week we are talking about scheduling!

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As a resource and inclusion teacher, scheduling can be a bit of a headache in the beginning of the year. I have to get schedules from the general education teachers, so that I can be sure my students are receiving services at an appropriate time. Then I have to check their IEPs to see what services they receive, for how long, and for how many days during the week. Then I try to decide when to work with them and fit it all into a schedule. I also have to decide how to group my resource students so that our time will be used most effectively and we will see the most growth. 

If you're lucky, it will all work out nicely and the schedule for each day will be very similar. If not, I suggest using a spreadsheet to plan and organize each day's schedule!

My principal helped me set up my initial schedule last school year, since it was my first year working with those students and teachers. For this upcoming year, I've already given her my ideal schedule and she's going to take it into consideration when making classes for next year. I am very, very lucky to have such a supportive administration! If you're new to scheduling, talk with your administration if you have questions. They might know what kids shouldn't be pulled together, what kids are best pulled in the morning or afternoon, etc. 

On the first day of school, I had a generic schedule that looked like this:


I adjusted as the year went on as new kids were added to my caseload or kids moved to another school. Also, mid-year I realized that one of my third grade students would be better helped if he were pulled with my second graders, so that affected my schedule. Flexibility is so key for special educators! Make sure your schedule works for you AND that it also works for your kids!

Tips for Scheduling in a Resource/Inclusion Setting:
1. Be flexible! Things change all the time! 

2. Get copies of the general education teachers' schedules before the year starts, so you can make a tentative schedule for yourself. You want to start working with your kids as soon as possible so they begin to learn the day's routine. 

3. Don't be afraid to rework your schedule if something isn't working. Talk to the general education teachers. Reflect on what is happening in your room. Make sure your schedule and groupings are best for your kids too! 

4. Make sure you are aware of special events happening in the school. If a grade is going on a field trip or having a special speaker, make sure you make a note of it. You don't want to be running all over the school trying to find your kids when they are off on a field trip!

Visit Sarah at The Eager Teacher next to see how she handles scheduling in her classroom!

6 comments:

  1. Great tips of things to be aware of when scheduling! There is always something special going on in an elementary school!!
    Mrs. H's Resource Room

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  2. Great tips! So glad you have a supportive administration, especially so early in your career--and especially one who seems to understand special ed!

    Chris
    Autism Classroom News

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    1. Thank you! I really do feel lucky to work with my administrators everyday!

      Samantha

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  3. I enjoyed reading the post from your perspective. Since I teach self-contained...I am the one who needs to coordinate with the staff who do the "pulling out"...which can be stressful. But it was interesting to read how challenging it is for you guys as well who have to work around multiple teachers' schedules. Thanks for sharing.
    Angela
    The Organized Plan Book

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  4. It's wonderful that you have such a supportive principal! Great tips, thanks for sharing!

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  5. It's a true gift to have an administration that will take special Ed into consideration like that. I spent many years sharing about special Ed with my administrations. I even had a few administrators that came from special Ed and that was awesome! I can't imagine being both inclusion and resource! You must be a scheduling genius! Awesome post!

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