Something that you want us to know about you or something about you that is interesting:
  • I grew up on a chicken and goat farm in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I can speak the chicken language fluently to the point that you might call me a bit of a "chicken whisperer" =) I am also a bit of a Scrabble buff if you are looking for a challenge. I have performed over 1200 music concerts in my life including over 110 concerts in local rest homes and memory loss centers of which I am the most proud!
Explain your education & career goals:
  • I attended SOU for 4 years and 2 years at U of O where I received my B.S. in Music. I came out of college with the skill set of a K-12 music teacher. I joined the MAT program at SOU briefly before securing a music teaching job in the Ashland School District. I dropped out of the MAT to pursue my career. However, with the economic crash in '07 came tremendous instability in the music education job market, and I chose to eventually come back to school in pursuit of a teaching license for general elementary education.
What brings you joy?
  • My wife, my son, my family! Family is my top priority in life.
What is your greatest fear about being a teacher?
  • That I won't be able to secure a job locally as I do not have the ability to move outside of Southern Oregon.
Did you ever experience a time when something was extremely difficult to learn? Explain that time and how it made you feel.
  • Algebra and I did not get along back in the day. Algebra got the best of me in 7th grade and I came back with a vengeance in 8th only to barely squeak my way through. In my 3rd senior year in college, I took math for elementary school teachers and walked away feeling like I understood algebra and geometry for the first time in my life!
How might this piece of your history help you connect to students with learning differences?
  • I began connecting with children who struggled with math in 2006 and I hope to continue building upon my skill set as a teacher. I have a great deal of connection with students who struggle with the logic sequence of math.
What do you want to gain from this course?
  • I hope to fill in the gaps in my knowledge base around the subject of special education as much as possible. I feel like I know so little, and I must learn more to be proficient as a teacher. I hope to ultimately pull away enough information from this class so that I can begin to grasp what questions to ask in order to better understand how many questions are still unanswered for myself.

Introduction to Individualized Education Plans:
  • I chose the topic of IEP's because it was an area that I have had no experience with in the past. I hope to find resources that will support my understanding of IEP's as I am assuming they will be a part of my teaching career in the future. I need to know enough about IEP's so that I can know what questions need to be asked when working with students with IEP's. I hope that my content on this wiki will help enhance my own and my peers understanding of IEP's.

  • Here is the definition of an IEP according to the state of Oregon:
    "Individualized education program" means a written statement of an educational program for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed and revised in a meeting in accordance with criteria established by rules of the State Board of Education for each childeligible for special education and related services under this chapter. - Oregon Legal Definition

IEP Resources:

Top Resource:
The Exceptional Children's Assistance Center or ECAC has a youtube channel with a five part series dedicated to the IEP process. It is geared towards parents, however the 5th chapter is a documentary of an actual IEP meeting. I found this to be the most helpful out of all my resources as it took the mystery out of the process. 5/5

1. There are two different IEP's in Oregon, the first listed is for children 15 and younger and the second is for children 16 and older. Here are links to the actual documents used in Oregon. These were helpful in clarifying for me what an IEP looks like and what is expected on an IEP.
15 and under
16 and older

2. This is a fantastic IEP web resource for teachers. It contains information on preparing IEP's, integrating curriculum, inclusions, bilingual and bicultural approaches, assessment accommodations, and other resources. This is one you should check out! 5/5
IEP Articles & Resources for K-12 Teachers - TeacherVision.com

3. This is an extensive FAQ page for IEP's that is directed at parents though has helpful content for teachers as well. It covers a lot of ground and the content is accessible. 4/5
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) - FAQs, Articles, Tips ...

4. This is a list of IEP acronyms that will hopefully clarify some of the confusion created by the "teacher-speak" found during the IEP process. I found this helpful as I was very lost during my first read through of the IEP example given in class. 3/5
Special Education Acronyms - Guide to Terms and Services

5. This is a resource for parents from another parent. The author outlines seven tips that he wants to pass on to other parents before they go through the IEP process. The content is sympathetic and sincere and is written in a clear voice. 3/5

6. The ECAC website itself turned out to be a wonderful resource. Based out of North Carolina, this website is primarily focused on the parental experience of having a special needs child. The site provides resources for advocates and educators as well.There are materials that can be ordered through the website for use by both parents and educators such advocacy letters. 4/5

7. This is the Oregon law that defines the states stance on IEP's. While the document can be a bit confusing as it is written in legal language, it is still fairly accessible and is a critical piece of information for parents, teachers, and administrators on the rights and obligations of parties involved in the IEP process under Oregon law. 3/5

8. This is the topical brief released by the federal government in 2006 on the effects to IEP's due to the passage of IDEA. The document is extremely dense and requires a familiarity with the original laws surrounding special education. I found it helpful as it clearly itemizes what has been changed and what current policy entails. The site also has links to the actual laws if you wanted to go over something with a fine-tooth comb. 3/5

Five Things I Learned:
  • While IEP's may be intimidating to us as professionals, they are part of our job and obligated to serve children and their families. IEP's on the other hand are infinitely more intimidating to families and we should always keep our service focused on the needs of the family to the fullest extent of the law.
  • The IEP process is not as visible online in Oregon as in other states such as California, Texas, New York, and North Carolina. You need to dig a little more to get into Oregon's resources.
  • IEP's were heavily revised in 2004 through IDEA. I knew that IDEA effected IEP's, but I didn't realize the extent.
  • An understanding of the child and parental positions is absolutely critical in creating an effective IEP.
  • There is a lot of information online on IEP's, however the information is largely disorganized and disconnected. It is easier to understand why parents can come into IEP meetings with poor or misleading information.