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Starting the Year Off Right for Special Education Teachers

I can't believe my summer is over, and I'm back to work already!  

As a special education teacher, I've learned that there's so much collaboration we have to do!  We're often seeing students from several different general education classrooms (I have 6 gen ed teachers I work with so far), plus working with speech therapists, OT/PTs, behavior interventionists, etc.  So many people to work with and coordinate things!

And since there's so many people to work with, I've learned that your relationship with the gen ed teachers can make a HUGE difference.  You really want to start the year off on a positive note and start facilitating those relationships.

I know the first day you return back to work is stressful.  You need to set up your classroom, read IEPs, lesson plan, decorate bulletin boards, the list is never ending!  But I really think it's important to make contact with those gen ed teachers the 1st or 2nd day you're back to work.

I took time my first day back to work to quickly go through my IEPs and fill out these IEP SnapShots.

Then I printed off my IEP accommodation pages, Behavior Support Plans, and any other relevant information for the gen ed teachers.  

I had my list of students but I didn't have a list of which gen ed teacher they were assigned.
No big deal though, I just went class to class and asked which kids were on that teacher's classroom roster.  I gave the gen ed teacher the IEP Snapshot and other relevant papers and chatted for a quick minute about the students.  

I always try to make sure my gen ed teachers know that I'm also there to support THEM!  Sometimes it can be really intimidating for a gen ed teacher to have special education students in their classrooms.  Sometimes they've heard lots of scary things about students.  By making contact right away, I hope I can make them feel a little better and let them know that we're in this together!  

You can download this IEP Snapshot as a freebie from All that Chit by clicking on the picture below.

How do you start the year off with your gen ed teachers?

Covering Up the Ugly! - Shelf Makeover

Last year, I took over a classroom mid-year.  I didn't have much time to decorate, so I did a quick rearrange and change bulletin boards on a weekend.  I purged the rest of the year (read about the moldy play dough here) so that I could start off this year FRESH!

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to show how I covered up my ugly shelves.

I decided that there was NO way I could look at these ugly shelves in my room anymore!

This one actually had wood grain contact paper on top of the ugly shelf.  :/

I didn't want to take the time to repaint them, so I made a quick trip to Target.  I bought contact paper (not my favorite pattern but beggars can't be choosers), duct tape, and a sheet.

I covered the shelves in contact paper.

To make sure the contact paper sticks, I applied duct tape along all the seams and corners.

I have a TON of velcro in my room, so I ran a strip of velcro across the front.

Then I cut the sheet to fit, hemmed the edges, and applied a strip of velcro to the sheet.

Now my shelves look better, the stuff in the shelves are hidden from sight, and it looks way better!

Best of all, I can easily take this off if I decide I don't like it anymore (or find a better contact paper pattern).  It was cheap.  I only used a little more than 1 roll of contact paper, less than a roll of duct tape, and 1 flat sheet.  And it was quick to do, took a couple of hours to do 3 shelves.

July Currently

July!!!!  Say what?!?!  Slow down summer, I don't want you over just yet.  Teachers go back to work on July 28th in Hawaii.  Wahhhhhh!!!  I don't even want to think about school yet.  But I guess the days will just keep on coming so I better enjoy the heck out of the last few weeks I have off!

I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for her July Currently.

Listening: Hubby and I are trying to watch The Leftovers, new HBO series, but our cable is being super glitchy.  Ugh!  I'm undecided on whether I like it or not.

Loving: I've joined a new bootcamp class with some of my friends.  It's kicking my booty every morning, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it.  Plus, I'm feeling so much stronger!

Thinking: This has been a fabulous summer break.  I so don't want it to end!  My family went to Kauai in June.  It was AMAZING!  

It was beautiful!

We jumped into tide pools!

We jumped off piers!

And had the best quality time!

Seriously, go to Kauai if you can!  Best vacation ever!

Wanting: New workout gear.  I really need new stuff to wear.  Any favorites?

Needing: More clean eating recipes.  I'm trying to use summer to try more recipes and add some favorites to our usual rotation once I go back to work.  I've been collecting recipes on Pinterest {here}, but I'd love to hear some of yours.  

4th of July Plans: We'll be BBQing with our neighbors.  I'm gonna "try" to eat healthy but no promises.

How's your summer going?