During your teacher’s aide training, you will need to learn many different things in order to be fully prepared for the life of a teacher’s aide. One of those things will be understanding and implementing an IEP. If you plan on assisting at a public school, this information will be extremely helpful because it will assist you in determining how a student will be taught and what special needs each child has.
Teacher’s Aide Training and Understanding an IEP
Every public school that has a special education program, or receives services related to special education, must have an IEP for each child. IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. During your teacher’s aide training, you will learn that each IEP must be specifically made for a child. For students with disabilities, this plan, when formed correctly, can make a true difference in how a child learns and adapts in the classroom.
The development of an IEP is not done by one person alone. As a teacher’s aide, you will work with the student’s parents, teachers, principal, and other important members of the child’s education to establish a good IEP.
Teacher’s Aide Training and Developing an IEP
Although it will be up to the group of educators and parents what goes into the IEP, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, has developed guidelines to help educators correctly construct the plan. Here are the steps that must be taken, according the IDEA.
- Determine whether the child needs special education or related services- During your teacher’s aide training, you will most learn about the ‘Child Find’ system. This system is used to help find and evaluate children who are thought to have disabilities or are in need of special education. Parents, teachers, and others may request a child be evaluated through the ‘Child Find’ system.
- Evaluate the child- Children who are thought to be special needs are evaluated in all areas. The evaluation will decide whether the child is eligible for special education or services related to special education. If the child’s parents disagree with the evaluation, they may have their child undergo an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). If it is requested, the school may have to pay for this separate evaluation of the child.
- Decide on Eligibility- A child’s eligibility is determined by the ‘Child Find’ evaluation or the IEE, and the results are studied by educators and parents. If the parents disagree with the outcome, they may ask that a hearing takes place to determine their child’s eligibility.
- IEP meeting is scheduled- You will find during your teacher’s aide training, that many individuals will be called to an IEP meeting. You, as a teacher’s aide, will be a part of the meeting. It will also include teachers and parents. The parents will have the option of inviting family members, friends, and qualified professionals such as psychologists or physicians, who have been around the child and understand the child’s needs. Sometimes, the student in question is also invited to the IEP meeting.
- IEP meeting is held- During this time, the IEP will be written, if the parent’s consent for special education is given. The IEP will state what classes the child will take part in, special concerns for the student’s educations, and will plan out how the child will receive his or her education.
- Services are provided to the student- As quickly as it is possible, services outlines on the IEP will be provided to the student. The progress of these services will be measured and evaluated throughout the school year, and the parents will be notified of how well the IEP is working.
- IEP reviewed- During your teacher’s aide training, you will learn that an IEP must be reviewed at least one time each year. This review will help the student, educators, and parents understand how well the IEP is working and if any changes need to be made to it.
- Student is reevaluated- Every three years, the child must be reevaluated to see if he or she still qualifies as a child with disabilities. This will help parents and educators determine whether the child still needs an IEP or not.
During your teacher’s aide training, you will learn about Individualized Education Plans. These IEPs are very important to a child’s education.