May 2021 - Special Educator e-Journal



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Special Education Legal Alert

By Perry A. Zirkel

© April 2021

This month’s update identifies recent court decisions respectively illustrating (a) the interaction of IDEA with Section 504/ADA and  (b) the ongoing evolution of FAPE anaysis and remedies.  For related information about these various issues, see perryzirkel.com

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Buzz from the Hub

  • Webinar | Act Early Ambassadors 2021
  • CPIR Info Suites and Resource Collections
  • Education/Training Connections
  • Assistive Technology Act
  • Considering Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities
  • 8 Things I Wish People Knew About Parenting a Child With ADHD
  • Accepting Yourself ADHD and All
  • Rare Disorders Fact Sheet Updated!
  • How to Grandparent a Child With Special Needs
  • Advocating for Myself
  • My IEP Owner’s Manual for Transition-Age Students
  • A Family Toolkit: Pediatric to Adult Health Care Transition
  • How to Improve Engagement Efforts
  • Youth Advisory Councils | Webinar

 

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Reframing Pre-Service Teachers’s Perceptions of Students with Disabilities through the PERMA Model

By

Jemma Kim, Ph.D.

Sang Nam, Ph.D., BCBA

Roderick O'Handley, Ph.D.

Marissa Congdon, Ph.D. BCBA-D

California State University, San Bernardino

Abstract 

Teacher education programs should be tasked with producing prospective teachers as change agents toward equity in education for students with disabilities. Without substantial changes in teachers' perceptions of the capabilities of students with disabilities, significant changes in instructional practices in special education may not be possible. This paper provides rationales for why teacher education programs should focus on undoing pre-service teachers’ preconceptions of students with disabilities and recommends a practical tool that can provide pre-service teachers with an opportunity to recognize the positive characteristics of students with disabilities by adopting the PERMA (Seligman, 2011) model. The PERMA model is expected to help prospective teachers reframe their perceptions of students with disabilities from a deficit view to a strengths-based view.

Keywords: teacher perceptions, students with disabilities, PERMA, strengths-based approaches

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The Need for Collaboration When Matching Computerized Assistive Technology Devices to Students Identified with Specific Learning Disabilities

Lisa Thompson Sousa, PhD

Sul Ross State University

 

Heather Haynes Smith, PhD

Trinity University

 

Abstract

 

Rates of use associated with assistive technology by individuals with specific learning disabilities were compared to the rates associated with low incidence disabilities. To address disproportionate practices for specific learning disabilities, four constructs (combined dependent variables) were created: (1) knowledge of specific learning disabilities (2) knowledge of computerized devices (3) expertise in assessment for computerized assistive technology devices with specific learning disabilities and (4) frequency of consideration. Based on the constructs, a survey was piloted and distributed online to professionals involved with assistive technology decisions. The participants were separated into four groups typically found in IEP meetings.  The groups include: (1) related service providers (2) special education specialists, (3) general education instructional specialists (4) education technology specialists. The level of self-reported knowledge, expertise and frequency were analyzed and described by comparing the groups. A fifth independent variable, collaboration, was created and compared among the constructs using ANOVA and significant findings were found regarding level of collaboration in relation to the four constructs associated with assessment of computerized assistive technology when paired with specific learning disabilities.

Key words:  Assistive Technology, Online, Specific Learning Disability, Collaboration, Pandemic, Covid

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Disproportionate Exclusionary Discipline in Florida

Helen Flores, Arianna Barroso, Bernardina Fernandez

Florida International University

Abstract

            Exclusionary discipline unequally affects minority students, especially black males. The inception of these disproportionate measures can be traced to zero tolerance policies and are continued on by the mismatch of the teacher workforce with publc schools’ student population. The purpose of this study was to compare indoor suspension in the 2018-2019 school in Miami Dade County Public Schools and the state of Florida. We look at the difference in rates of suspension between White, Black, and Hispanic students as well as between male and female students. Preliminary results show that suspension is higher for Black students in the state of Florida, but there is no difference between White and Hispanic students. In Miami Dade County, race and ethnicity do not depend on rate of suspension. For both the state of Florida and Miami, males are suspended at higher rates than females. Limitations of the current study and implications are discussed.

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Book Review: School Culture Rewired

Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker. School Culture Rewired: How to Define, Assess and Transform It. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2015. 170pp. $26.95

            “Just about everything that goes on in a school is a function of the school’s culture to some degree.” So say Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker in their groundbreaking book, School Culture Rewired, where they set out to outline a framework for defining, assessing, and transforming a school culture. Gruenert and Whitaker are both leading professors in the Educational Leadership department at Indiana State University, and they draw on decades of research to provide school leaders the necessary tools to establish organizational cultures that are optimal for student learning.

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Book Review: Connecting Teacher Leadership and School Improvement

 

Eunjung Lim

Murphy, J. (2005). Connecting teacher leadership and school improvement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Purpose and Thesis

Over the years, school improvement has been a critical theme with ongoing efforts to reach effective student achievement and school performance. The school leadership has been considered to play a crucial role to implement the school reform plans. The leadership has been viewed mainly from the administrative roles and focused on hierarchical organizational systems. However, the perspectives on teacher leadership have emerged as an important aspect in school improvement. The book titled Connecting Teacher Leadership and School Improvement by Joseph Murphy is designed to provide the full comprehended teacher leadership as a pathway to school improvement. This book aims to unpack teacher leadership into its core components and a more evolving reform concept. In addition, the author suggests how teacher leadership corresponds to the larger array of school reform initiatives.

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Book Review: If you Don't Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students

 

Krystal Fernandez Diaz

The role of leadership in every sphere of life cannot be emphasized enough as times have become increasingly challenging. Pragmatic and accountable leadership is critical now more than ever before. If you Don't Feed the Teachers, You Eat the Students by Neila Connors is packed with wisdom and inspiration to help school administrators improve their school climate and enhance school year success. The author metaphorically uses the idea of food and eating to represent learners as the real victims of ineffective and incompetent school administrators and teachers. The author makes it clear that effective leadership is essential for creating a foundation for a productive environment. Connors' cautionary administration guide tells an important story that administrators can use to establish a healthy climate for teachers and students to enhance collective success. This article reviews Neila Connors' "If you Don’t Feed the Teachers, You Eat the Students" to establish its themes, keynotes, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. The review will conclude by comparing Connors' book to Michael Fullan's Leading in a Culture of Change.

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Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET 

* [2021-2022] Elementary Reading Interventionist - This position will serve as a school resource for staff and parents with regards to special education services and regulations. The Intervention Specialist will work closely with the Student Support Team (SST) to assist in observing, documenting, and referring students with suspected special education impairments. The candidate should be able to monitor students; continuous progress through data collection and observation and provide information/support and training to teachers and parents around their child's needs. To learn more - Click here

* [2021-2022] ENL Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the ENL Teacher will be responsible for designing and leading ELL instruction, and collaborating with school staff to provide English language support. This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic educator who is passionate about improving student outcomes for all students, and eager to apply their vision for rigorous, whole-child education in a growing, collaborative school community. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher (All Specializations) - We are looking for highly motivated and skilled Special Education Teachers to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). We are primarily hiring for several Inclusion/Resource classrooms as well as Communication and Education Supports (Autism) classrooms. We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a signi?cant di?erence in the lives of our students with special educational needs. To learn more - Click here

* [2021-2022] ELA Special Education Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the ELA Special Education Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, through integrated co-teaching, in small group settings, or a combination of both. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more - Click here

* SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER - (Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary) - (Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary) To create a safe atmosphere conducive for learning and implements instruction in ways that allows all students to learn. Plans and provides for appropriate learning experiences for students. To learn more - Click here

* Lower Elementary SPED Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Lower Elementary SPED Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, primarily through integrated co-teaching. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more - Click here

* Elementary ICT Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Elementary ICT Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, primarily through integrated co-teaching. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more - Click here

* [2021-2022] Math Special Education Teacher - Will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, through integrated co-teaching, in small group settings, or a combination of both. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more - Click here

* [2021-22] Middle School Special Education Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Middle School Special Education Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, through integrated co-teaching, in small group settings, or a combination of both. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more - Click here

* [2021-2022] Special Education Teacher (Learning Specialist) - From our schools to our playing fields, DREAM is committed to building a team where each individual can bring their full identity and experience to work because representation matters—it enriches our team culture, enhances our ability to innovate, and strengthens our impact in and out of the classroom. DREAM engages staff that represent and appreciate the diversity of our majority Black and Hispanic student body, while working to ensure that our practices are equitable, welcoming, and productive. To learn more - Click here

* Autism Teacher - JHU is looking for an energetic, flexible, and motivated teacher needed to work full-time with a young adult with autism. Teachers work on a multi-disciplinary team with specialists in autism, special education, speech-language pathology, fitness, art, and behavior analysis to address communication, academic, daily living, vocational, and leisure skills in home, educational, and community settings in and around New York City, Connecticut, and via Zoom. To learn more - Click here

* Director, Special Services - Serves under the immediate direction of the Senior Executive Director, Student Services and must possess specialized in-depth knowledge and experience in leadership in the program and fiscal administration of special  education programs with primary responsibilities that encompass compliance and program quality assurance, fiscal management, personnel matters, and more. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Plan, prepare and deliver a quality instructional program based upon student Individual Education Plan goals, state standards, district curriculum, and effective instruction to students of diverse backgrounds and learning needs in inclusive settings. We offer medical, dental, vision, retirement, & AD&D/Life. To learn more - Click here

*  Exceptional Children's Teachers - Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools are looking for a variety of experienced and certified EC Teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels. We offer a variety of benefits including: health, dental, and life insurance. In addition, employees are enrolled in the state retirement plan, accrue paid time off, etc. To learn more - Click here

* New Visions Charter Special Education Teacher - New Visions for Public Schools is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of public education in New York City.  Today, we support over 1,050 public schools and thousands of teachers, serving 700,000 students, in their most critical work: deciding what and how to teach, helping keep students on track to graduation, and preparing students for success beyond high school.  New Visions directly manages a network of 10 charter high schools across the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. To learn more - Click here

* High School Learning Specialist 20-21 and 21-22 - Opportunity Charter School (OCS) teachers are trained in cutting-edge, research-based methodology of evaluating students’ academic strengths and challenges. To maximize each child’s personal development, an individualized education plan is created that is tailored to his or her unique needs. Students receive differentiated instruction in every curricular area with the goal of expanding their higher cognitive thinking. To learn more - Click here

* Assistant Principal - DC Public Schools - We are looking for highly mo vated and skilled talent to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a signi?cant di?erence in the lives of public school students, parents, principals, teachers, and central o?ce employees. To learn more - Click here

* Special Needs Tutors -  is seeking dynamic, state credentialed special needs teachers to tutor on our virtual platform teaching learners all over the world. This is a perfect second job to earn extra money from the safety of your own home.  There is no minimum hourly requirement; all you need is a computer, reliable internet, a quiet space and willingness to teach. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - $60,000/school year (185 days), summers off with year-round pay and year round appreciation. Special Education Teachers needed in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities). Needs are in the self-contained and resource settings serving students with emotional disabilities (ED), Autism (A), Severe/Profound (S/P), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID). STARS is the largest school contract agency in AZ.  You will be an employee and receive full benefits. To learn more - Click here

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Acknowledgements

Portions of this or previous month’s NASET’s Special Educator e-Journal were excerpted from:

  • Center for Parent Information and Resources
  • Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • FirstGov.gov-The Official U.S. Government Web Portal
  • Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP)
  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
  • National Institute of Health
  • National Organization on Disability
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Education-The Achiever
  • U.S. Department of Education-The Education Innovator
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • U.S. Office of Special Education

The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) thanks all of the above for the information provided for this or prior editions of the Special Educator e-Journal


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