Involuntary Teacher Transfer in Special Education: Concepts and Strategies for Teachers Facing New Assignments

Jan Stivers

Marist College


Sharon F. Cramer

Buffalo State College


Kate Riordan

Marist College


Special education teachers are more likely than general education teachers to experience involuntary transfers to new teaching assignments.   Faced with the challenge of teaching students with disabilities they have not encountered before, at new grade or developmental levels, among unfamiliar colleagues in new settings, special educators may experience anxiety and respond with resistance.  But there are steps teachers can take to minimize the stress of an unwelcome transfer. This article helps teachers view the transition to a new position as a process that can be understood and managed. Three distinct phases in the transition process are explained and illustrated with an extended case example.  Strategies for managing each phase of the transition are offered.

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