new school? I have TIPS for you to get your year started on the right foot your
very first day on the job!
the files are but, now what should do you? Have you met the administrative
assistant? How about the custodian? They will become your best friends at your
new school. Go and find them and introduce yourself!
First Things, First
caseload. Maybe it comes from a computer. Maybe it comes from the files. Either
way, that is where you must start.
Enter every student’s name as shown on the chart below. Is an IEP coming due
soon? Believe it or not, I have seen IEPs due at the beginning of the school
year. Yikes! Don’t wait to discover that at the last minute. Note the date the
annual review is due as well as the triennial date on the chart where
indicated. Highlight anything coming up soon. Now you’ll be ready ahead of
time. Like the scouts say, be prepared!
Soon I will be making the above form fillable! Sign up for my newsletter
to get exclusive access to it! What does “fillable” mean? That means
you will be able to type in the information instead of printing and doing it by
hand. Of course, you can still do that too!
thought you might want to know how I approach a new file.
I always start with the current progress notes. If
there is a recent assessment, I read that also. Is this a complex
case? Time to seek out the special education teacher. That person will be a
wealth of information which will save you tons of time!
Goals & Objectives
of the student’s goals. This isn’t the place to put a lot of details. I usually
just note the basic area the student is working on (articulation, receptive
language, etc.). Then I might write a very short description of their
on, but how, exactly, does that happen? Note the frequency and duration for
each student. You will need to check the IEP to determine if they can be
grouped. Are the pull-out or push-in? Make sure you note this on your caseload
teacher and every grade level. Your school’s administrative assistant will help
you with this. You must have it in order to locate students and get a
schedule set up. Enter both the student’s grade level and the teacher’s name on
the form mentioned above.
have a copy of the basic school schedule. Are there multiple lunch periods?
What about specials? What are the start and end times? Make sure you have a
copy of the schedule ASAP. Again the administrative assistant is your BFF when
it comes to getting this information!
detailed calendar set up at the beginning of the school year. Does your school
have a calendar? You know who to ask! Why do you need it? It is important to
know when parent conferences take place and there might be special events
listed that will impact services. Save yourself some time and grab the school’s
Get Out of the Speech Room!
so much paperwork before going cross-eyed. By the time I have filled out the
students’ basic information and studied some files, I’m ready for a break. It’s
time to go and meet some of the teachers! Yes, it can be a little intimidating
to walk into a classroom when you have never met the teacher before. Go and do
it! Chances are that they will be very happy to meet you. Most will appreciate
that you took the time to track them down. You don’t need to know specifics
about their students necessarily. I usually just keep it to small talk.
They may share some valuable knowledge or may be too busy to chat much. Go with
Managing Multiple Sites (Schools)
overwhelming, especially if you are starting a new assignment. If you have
multiple sites, you will need to spread the organizational process out over a
couple of days, maybe even over several days. Try to avoid pushing yourself to
get it all done at once. Yes, I know, you want to do it quickly (I’m like that,
too), but taking your time reduces stress. Pace yourself by taking breaks and
getting to know a few of the folks on your new campus(es). Do you want to talk more about managing several schools? That will be the topic of another upcoming post.