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Mentoring New Special Education Teachers

Mentoring New Special Education Teachers
A Guide for Mentors and Program Developers

November 2004 | 184 pages | Corwin
How do you avoid the high cost of turnover and retain high-quality special education teachers in such a demanding field?

Surveys show that 98% of school districts are reporting shortages of special education teachers, and that nearly a quarter of a million new special education teachers will be needed over the next few years. Special education teachers are leaving the field at twice the rate of general education teachers. Why?

Special education teachers can quickly become overwhelmed by the myriad of responsibilities in their jobs-managing IEPs, alternative assessments, paraprofessionals, assistive technologies, complex legislation and paperwork, and the physical and emotional toll of such individualized instruction.

Mentoring New Special Education Teachers will help administrators and other educators develop and sustain effective mentoring programs specifically designed for special education teachers, providing practical, field-tested activities and resources for both the mentors and the mentees, including such critical elements as:

  • Effectively identifying, recruiting, and selecting mentors
  • Action planning
  • Evaluating progress
  • Addressing diminishing support
  • Dealing with burnout and isolation
  • Vignettes of real-life mentoring experiences
  • Figures, tables, appendices, Web sites
  • A ready-to-use two-day workshop for training mentors

Real-life vignettes and "What If" questions weave throughout the book, and trouble-shooting appendices direct you to additional Web sites and resources for further help. Mentoring New Special Education Teachers provides everything you need to effectively support and mentor your special education teachers, increase their job satisfaction, and keep your retention rates high!

Introduction: Overview
About the Authors
1. New Special Education Teachers
Who Are New Special Education Teachers?  
Where They Come From  
What New Special Education Teachers Need  
Supports ESE Mentors Can Provide Mentees  
Fears and Anxieties of New Teachers  
School Administrator's Role  
Assignment of New Teachers  
What If?  
2. Supports for Special Education Teachers
Uniqueness of Special Education  
Special Education Processes  
Professional Issues  
What If?  
3. Designing Mentoring Programs
Critical Elements for Designing Effective Mentoring Programs  
Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor and Mentee  
Roles and Responsibilities of the School Administrator  
Mentor Selection  
Mentor Training  
Mentoring Activities Calendar  
Action Planning  
Funding Mentoring Programs  
What If?  
Online Resources for Designing Mentoring Programs  
4. Becoming a Mentor
Who Should Be a Mentor?  
What Do Mentors Do?  
What Do Mentors Do When the Mentoring Relationship Isn't Working?  
What Do Mentors Gain From the Experience?  
What If?  
5. Effective Communication Skills
Effective Communication Skills  
Observing and Coaching  
Teaming: Working With Others Effectively  
Problem Solving  
What If?  
6. Learning About Adult Learners
Working With Adults  
Adult Learning Theory  
Styles of Learning/Personality Types  
What If?  
Resource A: Action Plans
Resource B: CEC Standards and Mentoring Resources
Resource C: Professional Resources
Resource D: Mentor Workshop
Resource E: Timeline for Mentoring Activities

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: New Special Education Teachers

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