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Mentoring New Special Education Teachers

Mentoring New Special Education Teachers
A Guide for Mentors and Program Developers

December 2004 | 184 pages | Corwin
The turnover rate for special education teachers is the highest of all education fields. It is a tremendously demanding field, made more difficult by the fact that special education classrooms now are populated by mostly moderate to severely disabled students - emotional and behaviorally challenged, autistic, mentally retarded, deaf and dumb, blind, etc. - making the demands even more pronounced.

This book will help mentors and schools better develop, prepare, and retain these special education teachers, reducing the high turnover rates. It focuses specifically on special education programs, including coverage of IEPs, transition plans, referrals, behaviour planning, assistive and augmented technology, teaching assistants, medical issues, high parent involvement, and critical issues of burnout and isolation. The approach is very practical, offering vignettes, resources, checklists, and related practitioner-friendly tools and pedagogy.

Introduction: Overview
About the Authors
1. New Special Education Teachers

Who Are New Special Education Teachers?

Where They Come From

What New Special Education Teachers Need

Supports ESE Mentors Can Provide Mentees

Fears and Anxieties of New Teachers

School Administrator's Role

Assignment of New Teachers

What If?

2. Supports for Special Education Teachers

Uniqueness of Special Education

Special Education Processes

Professional Issues

What If?

3. Designing Mentoring Programs

Critical Elements for Designing Effective Mentoring Programs

Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor and Mentee

Roles and Responsibilities of the School Administrator

Mentor Selection

Mentor Training


Mentoring Activities Calendar

Action Planning

Funding Mentoring Programs

What If?

Online Resources for Designing Mentoring Programs


4. Becoming a Mentor

Who Should Be a Mentor?

What Do Mentors Do?

What Do Mentors Do When the Mentoring Relationship Isn't Working?

What Do Mentors Gain From the Experience?

What If?


5. Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills

Observing and Coaching

Teaming: Working With Others Effectively

Problem Solving

What If?


6. Learning About Adult Learners

Working With Adults

Adult Learning Theory

Styles of Learning/Personality Types

What If?


Resource A: Action Plans
Resource B: CEC Standards and Mentoring Resources
Resource C: Professional Resources
Resource D: Mentor Workshop
Resource E: Timeline for Mentoring Activities

Mary Louise Duffy

Dr. Mary Lou Duffy is an associate professor of Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Duffy’s interest in mentoring stems from her work with pre and in service teachers in the local school districts in South Florida. She has had the opportunity to work with new teachers to help them learn practical ways to solve management and instructional problems. Mary Lou is a participant in Florida’s Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) regional partnership, housed at Florida Atlantic University. She and Jim Forgan both have presented workshops and information sessions on mentoring and mentor training. ... More About Author

James W. Forgan

James W. Forgan, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Florida Atlantic University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. He is the principal investigator for the Southeast Regional Comprehensive System of Personnel Development Professional Partnership and on a United States Department of Education grant to increase the number of master’s level minority special education teachers. Dr. Forgan was a teacher of students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders at the elementary and middle school levels for six years in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. His professional interests are in the areas... More About Author

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