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Cultivating and Keeping Committed Special Education Teachers
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Cultivating and Keeping Committed Special Education Teachers
What Principals and District Leaders Can Do

Foreword by James McLeskey



March 2005 | 264 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with Council for Exceptional Children

Improve teacher retention by understanding and supporting the work of special education teachers!

Are you concerned about special education teacher attrition? Do you wonder about how to meet the demand for highly qualified special educators? This book highlights the problems that drive many special educators out of teaching and outlines practical recommendations that leaders can use to increase retention. Drawing on field experience as well as research findings, Billingsley provides a comprehensive framework for supporting special educators.

Cultivating and Keeping Committed Special Education Teachers provides effective ways to:

  • Recruit and hire qualified special educators
  • Provide responsive induction programs for new teachers
  • Design effective professional development opportunities
  • Create inclusive and collaborative schools
  • Provide reasonable work assignments and reduce paperwork
  • Promote wellness by reducing stress

This book emphasizes the important role that principals play in supporting special educators and how they can make a difference in what special educators accomplish in their schools. Numerous assessments, tools, and resources are included to help leaders, mentors, and teachers improve the conditions of special education teaching.


 
List of Figures
 
List of Contributors
 
Dedication
James McLeskey
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Author
 
Part I: Understanding Teacher Attrition and Retention
 
1. Introduction: A Leader's Framework for Teacher Retention
Chapter Overview  
The Leadership Framework  
Types of Attrition: A District and School Perspective  
Chapter Summary  
 
2. Why Special Educators Leave and Why It Matters
Scenario: Two Perspectives on Attrition  
Chapter Overview  
Why Special Educators Leave  
Special Educators' Plans to Leave  
Why Attrition Matters  
Chapter Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
Part II. Finding and Cultivating High Quality Special Educators
 
3. Recruiting and Hiring Highly Qualified Special Educators
Scenario: "Where are the Qualified Applicants?"  
Chapter Overview  
Recruiting Special Education Teachers  
Effective Hiring and Assignment Practices  
Tips for Leaders  
Chapter Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
4. Supporting New Teachers Through Responsive Induction
Scenario: How We Eat Our Young  
Chapter Overview  
Reasons New Teachers Struggle  
Induction Goals and Planning  
Key Components of Induction Programs  
Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
5. Designing Effective Professional Development
Scenario: Unclear Boundaries  
Chapter Overview  
Involve Teachers in Assessing Needs and Planning Goals  
Use Effective Professional Development Practices  
Clarify Leader Roles in Professional Development  
Developing University-School Partnerships for Professional Development  
Enhancing Experienced Teachers' Professional Growth  
Tips for Leaders  
Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
Part III. Creating Positive Work Environments
 
6. Creating Inclusive and Collaborative Schools
Scenario: What a Difference a Principal Can Make  
Chapter Overview  
Eight Leadership Tasks for Inclusive and Collaborative Schools  
Tips for Leaders  
Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
7. Designing Reasonable Work Assignments
Scenario: "I Wanted to Teach Kids"  
Chapter Overview  
Four Types of Role Problems  
Designing Reasonable Assignments for Special Education Teachers  
Tips for Leaders  
Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
8. Promoting Wellness by Reducing Stress
Scenario: "Where's the Joy?"  
Chapter Overview  
Symptoms of Teacher Stress and Burnout  
Contributors to Stress and Burnout  
Assessing Stress and Burnout  
Strategies to Reduce Stress  
Tips for Leaders  
Understand Local Stressors Affecting Special Educators  
Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
9. Strategic Planning for Teacher Quality and Retention
Scenario: Learning From Teachers  
Chapter Overview  
Key Questions for Understanding and Improving Retention  
Strategic Planning for Retention  
Summary  
Selected Readings  
Websites  
 
Part IV. Resources
 
A. Principal Support Questionnaire
 
B. Teacher Stress Inventory
 
C.Teacher Exit Interview
 
D. Teacher Follow-up Exit Questionnaire
 
E. Teacher Workforce Survey
 
F. Focus Group Interviews
 
References
 
Feedback Form
 
Index
Key features
  • Features vignettes from practice and interviews with teachers
  • Provides research-based strategies for principals
  • Includes coverage of NCLB, and key topics such as 504 plans and IEPs
  • Market to principals; market to special education list – it is critical to include the book in both areas
  • Good candidate for ads in EAQ, EAA, EUS, and UEQ

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by James McLeskey

Preface

Chapter 1: Introduction


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