Master IEP Coach® Spotlight: Shelley Kenow

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Meet Shelley Kenow IEP Consultant, Master IEP Coach® from Illinois!

"Going into the Mentorship," said Shelley, "I thought, 'Oh I already know all the IEP stuff, I just need the business side of things', and I was very wrong. Catherine illuminated things in the world of Special Education that I had either forgotten about because they had been trained out of me, or because I had never been exposed to some of the ideas."

How did Shelley end up at an IEP table?

Like many of us, Shelley always knew becoming a teacher was her path in life. There was a voice in her head steering her toward Special Education certification, but she wasn't ready to listen, so she started as a General Education teacher. It wasn't until she moved overseas and accepted a position as a Special Education Teacher's Aide that she understood what her true calling was. Shelley taught K-8 Special Education for 15 years before stepping away to start her own IEP Consulting business. It was then that she discovered Catherine Whitcher and the Master IEP Coach® Mentorship.

Shelley is the author of Those Who "Can't..." Teach and Livestreamer/Podcaster of #nolimits and Friday with Fran.

How did the Master IEP Coach® Mentorship change her view of Special Education?

"Going into the Mentorship," said Shelley, "I thought, 'Oh I already know all the IEP stuff, I just need the business side of things', and I was very wrong. Catherine illuminated things in the world of Special Education that I had either forgotten about because they had been trained out of me, or because I had never been exposed to some of the ideas." As a veteran Special Education Teacher, Shelley obviously could write IEPs in her sleep. Still, in order to truly make the parent the equal member that they were supposed to be, she needed these reminders and new strategies from Catherine to take her game to the next level.

Who Does Shelley Like to Work With?

Shelley's client list runs the full gambit from across the country. What makes her different from other consultants is her desire to truly listen to her client's wishes and vision for their child's future. "I love to look at the data and patterns from behaviors and seek out where the issues stem from," said Shelley when asked to describe her niche. Behaviors hold a special place in her heart and she often presents on the topic.

What's Shelley's Favorite Part of the IEP?

The Accommodations and Modifications section is her favorite part of the IEP. She loves to clarify these supports so "everyone truly is doing the same thing to have the most validity, reliability, and consistency for the students."

Shelley loves to create word pictures and be able to associate situations in Special Education to someone unfamiliar with it. One example she gave when talking about understanding the need for accommodations stemmed from the question, How do you know when a student no longer needs their accommodation? Shelley suggested, "Next time you get into an Uber or a taxi and your driver is wearing glasses, have them take off their glasses while they get you to your destination. Then you'll be able to find out how well someone does without their accommodation. The need is still there but they'll find other acceptable solutions to succeed." Making these supports relatable to those outside of Special Education is so helpful to parents and teachers during the IEP meeting.

What's been Shelley's proudest moment as a Master IEP Coach®?

"I think my biggest accomplishment is just helping families feel heard and for them to have the peace of mind that they know what's going on with their child at school."

We're proud of Shelley because she is one of only 3 Coaches who have attended every Master IEP Coacach®VIP Weekend in Milwaukee! We love seeing her smiling face each year and having her share her knowledge with other Master IEP Coaches® year after year.

Shelley Wants You to Know...

The "I" in IEP stands for Individualized. Many of us know it, but we don't truly practice the individualization of the education plan. Make it your priority to truly customize the goals and supports inside this plan to fit the unique needs of the child so that it reflects the future they want.

 

Get Connected with Shelley:

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Ready to join Shelley and our Community of Master IEP Coaches® working TOGETHER to change Special education? Join us at the next Master IEP Coach® Mentorship!

 

 

 

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