By Barbara Baditoi
Do you remember when you were a student heading back to school? Loaded with anticipation and wonder, students are often anxious to figure out who is who, what is what, and where everything is. First-year teachers are the same and, even if you are in your second or third year of teaching special education, you may still be going to a different building, meeting a new co-teacher or paraprofessional, and sorting through unknown faces and names on your team.
School faculty lists read like a “who’s who” for the building. Secretaries tell you where your mailbox is located and point you in the direction of the clinic room assistant, who discusses which of your students require an EpiPen or seizure training. Walking down the hall to your room, you are greeted by returning teachers and stopped by nervous new teachers. Before you put down your growing stack of papers, you are summoned to the “back to school breakfast” and first staff meeting, where you will find more new faces. If you are a first-year teacher, your mentor helps by introducing you to colleagues. You have met the building administrators, but what about the speech and language clinician, occupational therapist, physical therapist, social worker, psychologist, school counselor, custodian, and behavior resource specialist?