When I first began teaching, I would lose sleep over IEP meetings. They were scary to me! Now, they aren’t so scary. Over the years, I have been able to find ways to help lessen the stress and make sure my IEPs run smoothly. I’m excited to share those tips today!
- Have a Meet the Teacher Night for families and students to see the classroom before school starts.
- Send home an About Me newsletter (Found in Special Education Must-Have Forms and Templates)
- Communicate daily (if possible) with families.
I always have a Meet the Teacher Night before school begins and this helps tremendously with the stress of the first day of school. My students and their families often have a lot of anxiety over attending a new school with new staff. Giving them the opportunity to come see the room and meet the staff takes a lot of the stress and anxiety away from the first day. This is a great way to set the foundation of the relationship with families as well!
2. Involve the Families When Writing the IEP
- Start of the Year Questionnaire
- Life Skills Rating Form
- Five and Five
- IEP Meeting Reminder
- IEP Check In
By ensuring these forms are completed, I am able to get pertinent information from families on what is most important to them. I also make sure to have conversations either before the meeting or at the meeting to get as much of their input as possible – after all, no one knows the child better than the child’s family!