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Dear First Year Special Education Teachers



Dear first year special education teachers,

First and foremost, welcome to the field. This field is going to test you, but it is going to be amazingly rewarding. I am writing this so you have a realistic picture of teaching special education during your first year and you continue to serve our students for years to come.

It's no secret that teaching is HARD. Teaching our students with diverse needs is especially difficult. For every breakthrough and triumph you celebrate with a student, you're going to experience meltdowns and adversity along the way, but let me tell you, it is SO worth it!

Here are some tips and insight I wish I had during my first few years of teaching:

DIY Room Divider


Can't afford a room divider from an school supply store for your special education classroom? Me either! I found a way to make a great DIY room divider for my classroom and it cost me just under $30. Check out how I provide defined spaces with this DIY divider.
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If you're a special educator, you probably know how important it is to define spaces in your classroom and build spaces where students are able to work. You also know there are times when you have students who need some "alone time" and others want to see what's going on. I love using my rolling pocket chart to provide some privacy in the classroom, but I was seriously needing another room divider.

5 Summer Reads for Special Educators


Summer break for Special Educators is a time to rest, relax, and RECHARGE. I love reading professional development books to help me get ready for the coming school year. Check out these 5 summer reads for Special Educators.
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I consider reading a very important part of my professional development as a Special Educator. I mean, let's face it. How often are district professional developments geared towards us? How many times have I been in trainings where I question what I'm doing there because the skills being discussed are way above the skill level of the students in my classroom. I consider my summer reads my professional development.

End of the Year Organization Tips for Special Education

Let's face it, the end of the year is CRAZY! The last thing I really want to think about is organization at the end of the school year. I've been trying to keep it together all year, you're probably ready to shove everything in my cabinet, throw your hands in the air, and leave for the next 2 months. I know I've felt that way when the end of the school year draws near, but I've realized that having an organization plan for the end of the year not only closes out this school year nicely, but it also helps me prepare for the next school year before it even starts.
Let's face it, the end of the year is CRAZY! The last thing I really want to think about is organization at the end of the school year. I've been trying to keep it together all year, you're probably ready to shove everything in my cabinet, throw your hands in the air, and leave for the next 2 months. I know I've felt that way when the end of the school year draws near, but I've realized that having an organization plan for the end of the year not only closes out this school year nicely, but it also helps me prepare for the next school year before it even starts.

These four quick tips are going to help you do just that. These are the tried and true tips I use to make sure this school year is wrapped up neatly and I'm ready to get up and go for the next school year.

3 Ways to Increase Communication Opportunities Throughout the Day

Building communication opportunities for our students is important. I know in my classroom, we're constantly working on requesting different items to expand our vocabulary, utterances, or sentence complexity. These 3 quick and easy tips are going to help you increase the opportunities for communication in your classroom EVERYDAY.

Data Collection Series: Where should I keep data sheets?

Are you wondering where you should store your data sheets to ensure data is being collected frequently in your special education classroom? Find out where I store data sheets and get maximum data collection from all of my staff.

I'm back talking about data collection in the classroom. We've talked about what skills you should be collecting data on and how to choose the right data sheets. Now it's time to talk about where you're going to store all these data sheets.

Work Tasks for Beginning Readers

Have students who are just building their reading skills? I've gathered some of my very favorite work tasks for students just learning letter sounds to students who are reading and comprehending at the sentence level. Check out these quick and easy tasks for beginning readers.
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