Take the Fluff Out of Your IEP To-Do List (Ep 131)

iep organization special education special education teacher special education teacher resources special needs special needs parenting May 18, 2022

It's time for you to give yourself permission to take the fluff out of your IEP to-do list!

Lean in and listen to this quick, honest message about how to focus on what NEEDS to get done. I've got three strategies to help you right now!

Look, I've been doing this for over 25 years, and I've never seen the level of exhaustion, overwhelm, and just chaos that I'm seeing now! Obviously, there are some things that we need to fix that were already broken, but we can't do that if we're exhausted.

So let's have a quick chat about 3 strategies to help you streamline your IEP to-do-list...

 

Get Passionate about the Purpose of an IEP

You need to make sure that everything you're focused on is focused like the IEP should be. IDEA law tells us that the purpose of the IEP is to provide free and appropriate education to meet a child's unique needs and to prepare the student for further education, employment, and independent living. Often, we focus too much on the free and appropriate part, but we overlook the other parts of that statement. We have a clear focus within the IEP to provide the basis of life BEYOND the IEP. As yourself, "Will this goal/task matter in 5 years for this child?" If the answer's no, let's re-examine our priorities!

If you are working on things that don't support further education, employment, or independent living, let's talk about it as a team and restructure our approach!

 

Eliminate the Sparklers and Sprinkles

I remember very clearly, staring at a bulletin board in my classroom, covered in really cute pumpkins and bats. So adorable, right? Well, it was January. Less cute. Did I panic or stress out about it? Nope. Obviously, this was not a priority at that season of my life, and it shouldn't be for you either! The extra stuff - the sparkles and the sprinkles, as I like to call them - they're not going to make or break a child's education. This should not cause you stress! Stop it. Get off of Pinterest, and get back to your actual job or supporting your students.

Moms, the same applies to you! You want to go nuts celebrating World Down Syndrome Day - awesome, I love it! But you don't have to. Your child will not love you less because you didn't go all out. You don't have to be that person all the time.

If you want to do those things, they fuel you - great! Most people are not finding fuel for those things and it can overwhelm our time and our focus to the point where we leave our IEP foundations in the dust.

 

You Need a System

If you have found yourself worrying about reoccurring tasks and communication, you need a system. I'm not going to tell you what kind of system you need because it will change based on the season of life you're in. I had a system in place for my professional and personal life that was working great... until it wasn't. It took a revamp and a new system to get my fired up and productive again!

Take stock of your current system. Is it working? Where are the bugs? Stop spending your time remembering what to you forgot, worrying about what is up and coming next... get a process in place that works for you right now.

Here's you permission to drop some of those tasks that weigh you down. I know you want the best experience for your child or student, but we're on a mission: to provide free and appropriate education to meet a child's unique needs and to prepare the student for further education, employment, and independent living.

 

Here's a glance at the episode...

[2:26] "We have a very clear focus... Is this going to help a child in the future?"

[7:03] "The long lasting impact is making sure that a child who learns differently is prepared for further education, employment, and independent living at a whole different level than generations in the past - that's a huge impact."

[9:42] "All those things are energy suckers... they're going to wipe you out!"

Click here to listen!

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