Teachers of students with special needs spend a tremendous amount of time planning for the education they provide to their students. General and special education teachers alike spend countless hours of time brainstorming, planning, discussing, and implementing ways to support their students. I remember these days and recall the overwhelming feeling of responsibility as I researched and brainstormed to try to develop an appropriate way to support my students. As a special education teacher, I knew it was my job to develop these supports, and I relied heavily upon the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues so that I didn’t feel so overwhelmed and alone. However, in the fast-paced and time-starved world of education, these opportunities don’t happen often.
Judy was an incredibly dedicated fifth-grade teacher. During my first few years as a learning support teacher, I had the opportunity to co-teach math with Judy. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act had just been reauthorized placing tremendous emphasis on the inclusion of all students in the general education classroom. Judy and I, along with the other teachers in the school, were up to the challenge! It felt like a daily occurrence where I would be asked: “What are we going to do with Billy?” Except, it wasn’t really “Billy”, just replace “Billy” with the name of any student. Ironically, this question would be the most frequently asked question of my career. Judy knew that it was helpful to me to talk to her as I brainstormed the answer to this question therefore, we would call each other almost nightly. I’m sure today it would be an entertaining meme if someone would’ve made a video of me each night standing at my kitchen sink, scrubbing dishes, with my microphone and headphone headset on my head squeezing every last minute of my day to the max! It took time, obviously, but we always developed a solution! There had to be a better way!
This is why I’ve developed Accomods by Action Driven Education. It’s my goal to become a digital partner for every teacher, general or special education, who’s working to develop individualized SDI. I’ll write more about how I’m working to do this in future entries, but to start, I’d like to share the template we use for every accommodation and modification we develop. Accomods is designed to quickly put potential ideas on the table, provide the details that are necessary to determine if they are appropriate for “Billy,” then assist with implementation.
We’ve included hundreds of accommodations in Accomods to support you from development through implementation. We want to work with you, so you have time to work with your students!