Special Education Teacher

I was a special education teacher for Kindergarten-2nd grade at CICS Irving Park in Chicago, Illinois.  I pushed into the classrooms as often as possible to teach small groups and provide extra assistance.  I had 14 students on my caseload, but worked with all students in the classroom.  I taught both  the regular curriculum and implemented resources I created.  I collaborated with the classroom teachers frequently to discuss student progress and determine student groupings and curriculum I would teach.  I taught the Really Great Reading curriculum to small groups in all three grade levels to work on phonic skills.  In math, I taught the general curriculum, focused on student IEP goals, and created supplemental activities to review or introduce other strands on the NWEA continuum.

Additionally, I progress monitored my students and updated their IEP report cards each quarter.  I wrote each of their 14 IEPs prior to their annual or initial meeting; 3 IEPs were initials and 1 was a reevaluation.  I collaborated with the support team to check in on their progress and make sure we were implementing similar strategies in the classroom.  I designed various behavior systems that were reevaluated and revised throughout the year.  I used social stories, visual cues, and reminders in the classroom.  Most importantly, I developed relationships with not the students on my caseload, but many students in all 6 classrooms I pushed in to to help them all learn and grow.  Below is a summary of the interventions, curriculum, and responsibilities used this year.



  • Taught Really Great Reading program to small groups in different grade levels
  • Taught math from Engage New York and looking at NWEA learning continuum
  • Developed activities to help with student IEP goals (ex: sight words,  use manipulatives with math, reading comprehension)
  • Assisted with and used ipad programs in my instruction: ST Math, Lexia, MyOn, IXL
  • Progress monitored using Dibels and QRI

Strategies When Working with Students

  • Created checklists, visual schedules, social stories, and cool down breaks as needed
  • Used First, Then language often. Students were motivated to work for breaks
  • Implemented different behavior systems that changed throughout the year-Class Dojo, tokens, star charts to earn breaks, Check In/Check Out schedules
  • Played music or worked outside the classroom in a quiet spot depending on how the student worked best
  • Provided lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement


  • Collaborated with K-2 teachers, paraprofessional, SPED team, psychologist, speech pathologist, social worker
  • Wrote IEPs, progress monitor students’ goals, participate in annual meetings
  • Proctored NWEA tests 3 times per year for students’ with testing modifications
  • Completed weekly collaboration logs, monthly consultation logs, quarterly IEP progress reports
  • Participated in Parent-Teacher conferences twice during the year
  • Built relationships with the students-got to know them working in small groups and 1:1, learned about their home life, their interests and found behavior systems/rewards to try to motivate them
  • Attended weekly school-wide professional development meetings and weekly SPED team meetings
  • Coached Girls on the Run team