Launching a Career in Special Education: Your Action Plan for Success

Authors: Elizabeth A. Potts Ph.D., Lori A. Howard Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 232 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781681251936
Price: $29.95

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For new special educators, navigating the first few years on the job can be a complex challenge. Help is here in this positive and practical resource, your friendly guide to taking what you learned in your teacher prep program and applying it successfully in your classroom. Developed by two special education experts with decades of experience, this book gives you a complete action plan for on-the-job success—from managing everyday details like paperwork and classroom routines to mastering big-picture strategies for behavior management, collaboration, and assessment. Potts and Howard speak directly to you, talking you step by step through key procedures, addressing common questions and concerns, and giving you sound advice you can use for your whole career. Throughout the book, relatable quotes from new and seasoned educators offer real-world perspectives on the joys and challenges of teaching.

Whether used as a quick-start guide for novice teachers or a supplemental textbook for future special educators, this how-to resource will help you—and your students—thrive in your first few years in the classroom.

  • Set up your classroom
  • Craft IEPs that reflect the student's and family's needs and goals
  • Plan differentiated lessons that address IEP goals
  • Find, use, and evaluate evidence-based practices
  • Choose or develop classroom assessments that are reliable and valid
  • Use positive strategies to reduce challenging behavior
  • Prepare yourself and your students for a classroom observation
  • Demonstrate professionalism in everything from your attire to your online conduct
  • Collaborate effectively with other teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and support staff

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: In each chapter, Planning Timeline boxes highlight which tasks to do when; Special Topics boxes guide you through key issues related to ethics, co-teaching, and English language learners; and Reflection boxes give you activities and checklists to help you apply what you learned.


Review by: Nicole Eredics, author of Inclusion in Action: Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum
“This book is the ultimate guide to launching a career in special education! New teachers will appreciate its practical advice, checklists, tips, and strategies for teaching students with disabilities in the school system.”

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Foreword: James B. Hunt

Section I. Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Getting Started
    • Book Setup
    • Create Your Own Planning Timeline
    • Beginning Your Journey
Section II. The Daily Work of a Teacher
  • Chapter 2 Understanding Inclusion
    • Special Educators Role in Inclusion
    • Universal Design for Learning and Differentiation
    • Special Educators Role During Identification
  • Chapter 3 Lesson Planning
    • Parts of a Lesson Plan
    • Designing a Lesson and Unit
    • Experience and Lesson Plans
  • Chapter 4 Research-based Interventions
    • Research Based or Evidence Based?
    • Finding Research-Based Practices
    • Is My Research-Based Practice Working?
    • Examples of Research-Based Practices
  • Chapter 5 Classroom Assessment
    • Measuring Student Knowledge
    • Homework and Grading Issues
    • High-Stakes Assessments and Students With Disabilities
  • Chapter 6 Classroom Management
    • Learning About Your Class
    • Finding Your Flow
    • Routines
    • Rules
  • Chapter 7 Behavior Management
    • Whole-Class Behavior Management
    • Managing Individual Behaviors
    • Choosing Motivators
    • Managing Your Behavior
    • Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans
Section III. Beyond Instruction
  • Chapter 8 IEP: The Legal Document
    • Parts of the IEP
    • Running the Meeting
  • Chapter 9 Classroom Observations
    • Planning for Observations
    • Preparing Your Students
    • Preparing Your Environment for Observation
    • Feedback
    • Conducting Your Own Observations
Section IV. Working as a Professional Within a School
  • Chapter 10 Cooperating Teacher: Your New Best Friend and Mentor
    • Cooperating Teachers Role
    • First Meet and Greet
    • Respecting the Cooperating Teacher
    • Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 11 Professionalism
    • Managing Absences
    • Managing Paperwork
    • Professional Dress
    • Avoiding Negativity
    • Professionalism Online
    • Ethics
  • Chapter 12 Co-teaching
    • What Is Co-teaching
    • Strategies for Success
  • Chapter 13 Communicating With Others
    • Other Teachers
    • Related Services Personnel
    • Paraprofessionals
    • Parents, Families, and Guardians
    • Administrators
    • Support Staff
  • Chapter 14 Teaching as a Career
    • Getting the Job
    • Licensing and Certification
    • Professional Development and Continuous Improvement
    • Evaluation
    • Avoiding Burnout
Appendix A: High-Leverage Practices (HLPs)
Appendix B: Book List

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