Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mimi:  Hello, I am a new Education Specialist. I am struggling with gen ed teachers not following the IEP. Their response is that I am to do all of the modifications and accommodations for their classrooms (which is impossible, as I don’t know everything they are doing… and it is their job). I also hear from the gen ed teachers that they “have 33 other kids in their class and can’t worry about this one kid”. Any advice as to what I can do? Admin is not much help…

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
01/13/2016 4:09 pm

Great answer from JG! Question for you, Mimi. Are these general ed teachers letting you observe their classes? Can you make targeted, specific suggestions, based on your observations? Take a look at the performance review protocol in your district, to see if you can bring the official observation and review process in to bolster what you are trying to do.

Jill G
01/13/2016 4:09 pm

For either option, it would help to have administration on board. Have you tried and failed to gain the help of school-level admins? Perhaps try district-level ones? If you tried district-level admins, try school level ones. Having the support of even just one person of authority may help.

If administration is truly a lost cause, perhaps ask your teacher’s union for help? As un-implemented IEPs may have repercussions for teachers, the union may feel obliged to offer you support.

Do the parents of these students know of the lack of IEP implementation? You may also consider passing the baton to them. Many administrators who will ignore a teacher’s concern, will listen carefully to an angry parent.

Lastly, consider enlisting the help of your state Dept of Ed. In many states, the office than handles IDEA complaints also offers technical assistance and/or informal intervention.

I do applaud you for looking out for student needs. Sorry there’s no obvious or fullproof solution.

Jill G
01/13/2016 4:08 pm

General educators are presumed experts in their content area. And special educators are presumed authorities on accommodating students and modifying work. So general and special educators are supposed to work together to design and provide the supports needed by individual students in specific classes.

You know this. But how do you enlighten other teachers? Here are a few strategies you may consider trying.

In my local district, teachers receive bi-yearly training regarding the obligation to implement IEPs and 504 plans – this includes ethical arguments, as well as legal ones. It also covers each person’s role (i.e. what general educators are expected to do, and how special educators will support them). Perhaps you could arrange to present such a training.

Alternatively, you could speak with teachers privately to remind them them of their obligations and the potential repercussions for the school (under IDEA) and them individually (under 504/ADA) if they do not.