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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?


  1. Great Tips! I put all my snapshots in a folder for my gen ed teachers. I've had up to 9 classrooms to work with, so it can be tough. But your advice is right on about getting to them early, and letting them know that you are there to support the teachers as well as the students so we can all have a great year!

  2. Awesome snapshot sheet! Our IEP program provides a snapshot with goals/accommodations/services, but I feel like these are often tossed aside by the Gen Ed teachers. This makes it seem like I put some time into it and I think the Gen Ed teachers are more apt to actually read it!

    You AUT-a Know

  3. Love these! I have almost all new gen ed teachers this year so I really want to make sure I'm building a good relationship right off the bat.

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