Resilient and versatile Special Education Teacher with 20 years of experience familiar with challenges associated with teaching special needs children. Empathetic and accommodating in the design and implementation of hands-on lessons, catering to diverse learning abilities with an emphasis on utilizing educational technology. Proficient in employing constant communication, patience, and positive reinforcement in team efforts to deliver exceptional educational tools, fostering academic achievement.
*Strong understanding and knowledge of Pennsylvania's special education laws and procedures, Individual Education Plan (IEP) goal setting process, implementation, progress monitoring and compiling with state and federal guidelines pertaining to Special Education timelines and policies.
*Extensive knowledge and experience with utilizing educational and assistive technology (both virtually and in person) including, but not limited to: Seesaw, Canvas, Immersive Learning Tools in Microsoft, Microsoft teams, all Microsoft programs, ClaroPDF, Flipgrid, Peardeck, WeVideo, Padlet, and more.
*Selected as special education site-based facilitator in which responsibilities included: acting as an LEA for building based special education/IEP meetings, attended district facilitator meetings, held weekly department meetings to relay new special education information to colleagues, and insured colleagues complied with state and federal guidelines pertaining to special education.
*Selected as a mentor teacher in which responsibilities included mentoring teachers in best practices for curriculum modification, IEP design, lesson planning, instructional delivery, learner evaluation, and classroom management for special needs students.
*Served on various school committees and task forces focused on curriculum development, school activities, health and wellness, and student-centered recreational activities and events.
*Worked with Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to create, implement and deliver customized positive behavior management plans and instruction in social skills to further the progress, development and goal attainment of student's with Autism, various executive functioning needs, social emotional regulation needs, and an overall need for age appropriate social skills.
*Expert in developing cross curricula, outside of the box lessons with a strong base in technology which intertwined concepts of curriculum and real-life age appropriate problem solving, life skills and social skills.
*Recent Professional Development activities include: Curriculum, Inclusion and Equity; Canvas/Distance Learning Best Practices; Social and Emotional Learning in k-12 classroom; Using Educational Technology to Support Differentiation, Math in Focus training, Best Practices to Meet the Needs of All Learners, Seesaw Ambassador, Engaging Students in Active Online Learning/ELA 1-6, Virtual Math Instruction
* Provided educational, emotional, and social support to third to sixth grade students with varying needs students with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, various learning disabilities and developmental delays, Down's Syndrome, emotional needs and varying other health impairments, both virtually and in-person.
*Provided, both virtually and in person, individualized, small group, multi-sensory, standards based and data driven instruction while differentiating the curriculum to meet the needs of each student in the academic areas of reading, written language and mathematics and provided support and/or modifications for students in the general education classroom across all academic areas, as dictated per students' IEPs.
*Designed and implemented, common core and standards driven engaging lessons and instruction with a strong focus in technology, both virtually and in person, based on student's IEP goals and objectives.
*Created and maintained a virtual learning environment in which all students were actively engaged and contributing members utilizing Microsoft teams, Canvas, Seesaw and other online learning tools.
*Developed and implemented individualized education programs for each special education student. Identified and implemented goals tailored to the student's individual needs and abilities. Coordinated with parents, teachers, teacher assistants, and various service providers, including speech, occupational, and physical therapists for students with a variety of special needs within the learning support and general education classrooms.
*Modeled, trained, and consulted teachers on modifications and accommodations to instruction and materials ensuring the diverse needs of every student are successfully realized.
*Collaborated and actively supported colleagues on effective strategies for assisting special needs students, maintaining a strong focus on learners varying disabilities/needs and facilitated presentations and recommendations while providing interventions and methods on successful behavior management.
*Employed diverse techniques to promote active learning including individualized instruction, problem-solving assignments, and small-group work.
*Exercised flexibility within the classroom addressing students' needs through special accommodations, flexible seating and various technologic tools.
* Established consistent and organized classroom rules, practices, and procedures that supported a positive, productive learning environment that maximized instructional time both virtually and in person and fostered a work-oriented, stress-free learning environment both virtually and in person.
*Employed positive interaction with students to develop a rapport, gain respect, and trust to ensure a productive learning environment.
*Used various summative and formative assessment strategies to monitor/evaluate student progress on IEP goals and to adjust instruction to maximize student achievement/mastery.
*Assessed student achievement through data analysis and maintained appropriate assessment and evaluation documentation for school-based and individual reporting purposes both virtually and in person.
*Attended professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
*Supervised the work of special education paraprofessionals by providing direction and guidance in techniques and strategies to best assist students.
*Differentiated plans for individual students based on their unique learning profiles and used developmentally appropriate practices for planning and implementing instruction according to IEP goals and objectives, both virtually and in-person.
*Worked effectively with colleagues as a team member in planning and implementing appropriate and meaningful lessons as well as co-taught with the general education teachers for content, writing and reading instruction.
*Virtually and in person, employed multisensory teaching strategies and specialized instruction based on an understanding of student strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles with a strong emphasis on utilizing technology-educational and/or assistive to better meet the needs of all students.
*Monitored and tracked student progress towards goals while collaborating with related service providers in both the virtual setting and inclusive setting.
*Scheduled, organized, conducted and created (in person and in the virtual environment) initial IEPs, updated IEPs and Evaluation Reports based on present levels of performance and developed goals that related to curriculum standards and needs while insuring instruction in the least restrictive environment.
*Maintained a digital portfolio of student work samples, anecdotal data, and observation information while teaching in the virtual environment.
*Communicated regularly with parents of students to ensure that their IEP goals are being met, and that their needs are addressed in a timely and appropriate fashion, both virtually and online.
*Participated in the school's Student Support Team; helped teachers and staff develop and implement program modifications and strategies for all students.
*Effectively communicated learning expectations using both language of the standards and researched-based strategies.
*Consistently demonstrated high expectations for all students.
*Delivered instruction which fostered the development of higher-order thinking/reasoning skills.
• Instructed 5-10 students with severe disabilities in a self-contained classroom.
• Identified the educational needs of each child to provide individualized learning plans.
• Effectively used classroom spaces and outdoor spaces to encourage socialization.
• Prepared periodic progress reports and established individual learning objectives.
• Complied with state and federal guidelines pertaining to special education.
• Established effective communications with parents and addressed any concerns through daily and weekly newsletters.
• Created comprehensive classroom instruction, curriculum relative to student's needs, and age-appropriate skills.
• Created individual behavior plans with appropriate rewards and consequences. Developed, wrote, and led IEP meetings with parents and other therapeutic professionals.
• Participated actively in faculty meetings, child-team meetings, and curriculum workshops.
• Supervised and delegated responsibilities to classroom assistants and therapists.
• Created learning and content strategies to meet the needs of mentally and physically disabled students.
• Led activities that developed students' physical, emotional, and social growth.
• Cultivated connections and strong student rapport to foster classroom engagement, in addition to recording student progress to inform parents and school administration.
• Communicated nonverbally with children to provide comfort, encouragement, and positive reinforcement.
• Created and managed IEPs to define student learning objectives and educational strategies, in addition to applying instructional knowledge and methods to support goals.
*Instructional Level II Pa Certification-Elementary Education K-6
*Instructional Level II Pa Certification-Mentally/Physically Handicapped K-12
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