To Adopt and Adapt

I am very pleased that the SpEd team at my school have begun redesigning their IEP goals to include GenEd academic standards in order to provide a vertical grade-level approach to monitoring standards-based academic progress. This has resulted in a number of those students with standards-based IEPs to transition from a pull-out learning environment to an inclusive standards-based GenEd environment due to this environment's potential for student self-directed learning. However, the ongoing training and reflection required for teachers to adopt and adapt a standards-based, self-directed, inclusive learning environment requires administrator support for teacher-led implementation. To first adopt such an approach across grade level classrooms is only half of the equation. Administrators that support such an approach must understand and support teachers as they adapt this approach to meet their own needs as professionals with individual interests, strengths, and preferences. As my SpEd team continues to improve the educational opportunities for students with IEPs by incorporating standards-based goals and progress monitoring, I continue to implement a self-directed learning environment that inherently supports full inclusion of both general and special education in one classroom.

There are so many concepts that are discussed at various degrees by different teachers and administrators within any school. It is common for discussions to blend aspects of concepts in ways that can change the course of a conversation's objective. Mediating, clarifying, and refocusing complex discussions to ensure progress of any new program or approach is necessary for success. I look forward to providing a sounding board for teachers and schools interested in adopting and adapting a standards-based self-directed learning environment.

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