IEP Q&A from Catherine's Inbox
Hey there, it’s Catherine here - want to go through my inbox with me?
I just popped up a can of Cream Soda Zevia and scrolled through to find these questions (that I get often) - I'm thinking you might have questions like this, too!
So instead of just hitting reply, I turned on my mic and recorded this week's episode of the Special Education Inner Circle podcast to answer the Q's for you.
First up, two teacher questions about problematic IEPs they inherited:
Teacher 1 told me the IEPs she inherited are way too long. They’re stuffed with goals and objectives from previous years that just got copied and pasted year after year.
Teacher 2 said the IEPs she inherited don’t have measurable baselines. The goals use words like “struggles with” or “has difficulty with” a skill without defining the specifics of the struggle.
Plus, the goals give the students a choice between listening OR reading when the child’s ability could vary a lot between those two skills. The prompts are generic too - not telling her what kinds of support actually help the student.
These teachers feel frustrated because there’s no special education leadership helping them (or their colleagues) learn to write appropriate, measurable IEP goals.
I get it! But here’s what I told them...
As the teacher, YOU have the power to fix this. Start by narrowing down and improving the IEP goals for effectiveness. Then (and this is key), have a collaborative conversation with parents to walk them through the changes.
Explain why certain goals need to be more specific and how that will lead to better outcomes. Educate parents on what effective goal writing looks like. When parents understand the “why” behind the changes, they’re much more likely to make sure that their child's IEP is written more effectively for years to come!
Parents and Teachers - We cover ALL these struggles inside our Master IEP Coach® Certificate program!
The next question came from a parent who has been googling “IEP advocacy” and came across our Master Coach® program to start her own Master IEP Coach® business - working from home. (See how here.)
She was amazed by what I’ve built but said she’s in a very different position than most parents. She’s the sole financial provider for her child and feels like she’s “sinking” when it comes to building her IEP advocacy business.
She imagined I must have had a lot of support when starting my business, but I shared that wasn’t the case at all!
When I first started my private IEP coaching practice, I had NO idea “Master IEP Coach®” would even exist. I was simply trying to fill my calendar with 1-on-1 clients to help them navigate IEPs.
During that time, I actually went through a divorce and became a single parent caring for my two daughters on my own. And yes, I was the sole financial provider - just like the mom who popped into my inbox.
It was incredibly difficult, but I knew in my heart that IEP coaching was my calling.
Once I built a successful IEP Coaching business, others started asking me to teach them.
That sparked the beginning of Master IEP Coach® Mentorship programs.
Moral of the story: if YOU feel called to start your own business helping parents through the IEP process, it IS possible, even without a perfect support system. There will be choices and sacrifices, but you can make it work if it’s in your heart.
The Master IEP Coach® Mentorship is where I show you the way and help you avoid reinventing the wheel. You don’t have to figure it all out alone.
Let’s keep the conversation going! What questions do YOU have about IEPs or building your own IEP Coaching business? ASK ME HERE