Both regular and special education teachers are typically part of an IEP team. In preparation for an IEP meeting, teachers document their observations of a student's progress within the classroom. Many teachers also prepare a list of questions or concerns to share with other IEP team participants.
Teachers play an important role on an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) team. When the IEP team meets to discuss goals and accommodations for a special education student, teachers share insight in regard to the student's academic and behavioral strengths and weaknesses. In order to clearly communicate their observations and concerns in written form, teachers need to prepare certain documents before the meeting takes place. A detailed description of what teachers should bring to an IEP meeting is outlined below.
Documentation of Student Performance
Special education teachers and general education teachers each need to prepare specific types of documentation for the IEP team to read and discuss.
--Special education teachers, who work with students during the school day to address individual academic or behavioral deficits, routinely bring these materials to an IEP meeting:
• An IEP draft, which outlines preliminary recommendations for student accommodations. This draft is discussed among team members and revised if necessary.
• Documentation of student evaluation results (IQ test scores, behavioral test scores, proficiency test scores, etc.).
• A written log of student behavior/academic performance within the special education classroom.
• Samples of student work completed within the special education classroom.
--General education teachers, who work with special needs students within the confines of the mainstream classroom, can supplement the special education teacher's documentation with:
• A written log that details examples of student behavioral issues and intervention strategies used to resolve issues.
• Samples of class assignments and test scores that reflect a student's knowledge of the curriculum.
• Copies of the classroom daily schedule, with notes on any adjustments made for the individual student.
List of Questions/Discussion Topics
In addition to contributing information that is needed for a student's finalized IEP, teachers can also bring a list of additional questions or topics of concern to the meeting. Because IEP meetings provide teachers with the opportunity to speak in person with parents, support staff, and administrators, personal observations about a student can be openly shared and discussed. This type of list may include:
• General questions about a student's interests and learning style. Teachers who are newly acquainted with a special education student can get suggestions from other IEP team members on how to positively interact with the student.
• Questions or observations in regard to which behavioral strategies work best for a particular student.
• Any other concerns that are relevant to a student's IEP (observations on a student's social skills, attentiveness in the classroom, favorite/least favorite school activities, etc.).
The checklist of what teachers should bring to an IEP meeting serves as a useful tool for general education and special education teachers who are asked to contribute as part of the IEP team. Teachers who take the initiative to begin compiling necessary documents as early as possible before a planned IEP meeting will be well prepared to communicate with parents and other members of school staff.
1) Special Education--http://www.ci.maryville.tn.us/mhs/MCSsped/teachers.htm
3) A New Teacher's Guide to the IEP Meeting--http://www.suite101.com/content/a-new-teachers-guide-to-the-iep-meeting-a267919