Congratulations on getting through the first few months of the school year. COVID-19 has left an indelible mark. So colleagues, rest and recuperate. And, as we know, most IEP goals usually don’t cover breaks.
If you decide to lessen your students' regression over winter break, involve the families. We have all encountered anxious parents or guardians; and, as Special Education teachers, we support the whole child academically, functionally, and emotionally. Students, for example, may be working on social-emotional skills. A goal may state, “Preston will identify and manage anxiety daily.” A list of mindfulness activities, youtube videos, and books may be given to parents and/or guardians to support the child at home. Ask families to practice mindfulness skills so children are ready to attend school in January. The more people who help reinforce learning, the more likely students are able to keep up with skills listed on the IEP and lessen regression and the need for recoupment once school begins again. Advise families and guardians to tackle only a specific skill. For example: “Tyler and I will practice mindfulness activities for 10 minutes every day.” Provide them with data collection sheets so they can measure their progress in this skill.
Families find support for students with IEPs in all sorts of ways. But don’t forget to build in some downtime for you, the families, and the students.
Author: Judith Magee, MA
About the Author
Judith Magee is a Special Education Teacher