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8 First Day of School Tips for Special Education

Last Friday was the first day of school here in Hawaii.  Even though I didn't start pull out services on Friday, I wanted to make sure my students and general education teachers had a smooth day.  Here's some tips on how you can support those students right from the start!

1.  Make sure you give the general education teachers copies of any behavior plans, accommodations, etc. BEFORE the first day of school.   Do students need to be seated near the teacher?  Are there any special plans for behavior that people need to know?

2.  Do any of your students need to be met at the bus that provides transportation for special education students?  If so, make sure someone is there to meet them and walk them to their class.  The bus is likely to be late the first few days of school.  Be prepared to wait.  Will these students need to eat breakfast?  Have a plan in place before the first day!

3.  Think about supporting the general education classrooms.  The first day is so hectic and teachers have so much to get done.  Can you or your aide go into the classrooms and help?  If you have several teachers you support, make a schedule and rotate around.

4.  Take time to at least briefly speak to each student and welcome them back to school.  Your relationship with the students can really make or break your year.  Let them know that you care right from the start.

5.  Let the general education teachers know that you are available during the day to help.  Some students might have some behavior concerns due to transition issues.  These students might need a place they can go to take a break from the hectic classroom.

6.  If students have transition concerns, try to give them support during the most stressful parts of the day such as first thing in the morning, lunch time and at the end of the day.

7.  If you are going into the classrooms to support students, be helpful!  The general education teachers have so much to do that day.  Help other students that need assistance if you can.  

8.  Remember to take care of you, too!  Don't forget to drink water, eat lunch, and go to the bathroom during the day.

I hope you all have a great year!


  1. Tip #1 is so important. When I was a homeroom teacher, I was often given the sped cluster. The first day was great when I could prepare ahead of time. One year, I had a sweet girl who had been in all day sped at another school and was now in my general ed 2nd grade class. I didn't know ahead of time and everything I had planned was way to hard for her. Luckily, I have a big bag of tricks, but I was upset that no one gave me a heads up so I could be prepared to help her with the transition.

    Surfing to Success

  2. Great advice! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Excellent tips. You might want to join Mrs D's and Miss B's linky party Keys to Success. I have shared some of my special needs tips too if you want to take a look at the link Special Teaching at Pempi's Palace

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  7. Any suggestions on what to give general education teachers? Do you have a template you like to use?

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