Day 34 (of 183) the power [and caution] of IEPs
Its interesting to spend a day doing IEP meetings. IEPs are “individualized education plans” which allow to identify different goals for students to be working on. These are adaptations – not modifications (which means ‘not graduating’).
Caution – most common worry: how to make ‘a’ plan work when there are __ other students….. but of course, that’s why it’s called an individualized plan! The goals may be different than most traditional outcomes (and the rant for connecting that to a letter grade in a subject area….well, that’s for a different time). But IEPs and IBPs (behaviour plans) all have a common warning sig(h)n – they take time and expect an implementation dip (that is to say that things may get worse before they get better). New plans take time to adjust and adapt as they are implemented.
I like them when they have a few concentrated goals – much like our school goals: 2 good…3 is …. more…
I like them when they have a purpose – I frequently have included “don’t send schoolwork home to be done” and cringed when “in later years” people didn’t like the ‘no homework’ part….but it’s always put in for a reason. Homework is more often than not both a gap widener (those who can, do – those who can’t, fall further behind) and a stress inducer (we still remind parents that if work is going home and it is either misunderstood or takes more than about 15 minutes – stop.)
Parental involvement is always nice. Especially when it is valuable to look at alignment between what is seen at school vs what is going on at home. But even if the parents aren’t able to make it in (don’t discount their own school phobia and anxiety) communicating the plan for them to have a look at it is still vital.
They take time.
They need involvement.
They become the plan for students learning journeys.
I don’t mind admitting that after a full day they can leave you as tired as a full body workout. The three of us who were involved in ‘all’ the meetings (at least most of the meetings barring phone calls and the usual flow of a school day) shouldn’t have had another meeting after school!