Future SPED teacher here! Any advice on classroom necessities to add to my wish list? For students and me!

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Congrats that’s such great news! Future Sped Teacher😀 I want to become one too! What was the hardest part of schooling? I have a family snd decided to get my Madters. A little nervous but excited at the same time-just waiting to see if I get accepted 🙏 just wanted to say Congrats!

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I think the hardest part for me was all the work but I didn't think the work itself was hard there was just a lot! I will say I'm in LOVE with SPED! My first job was a gen Ed science teacher and it almost turned me off teaching all together! So excited you are thinking of becoming a SPED teacher! Sending all the good vibes you get in!

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Binders to organize data! Little prizes or stickers for behavior reinforcement! Noise cancelling headphones! Decodable readers! Dry erase markers! Fun pencils to encourage writing! Clip boards so kids can sit anywhere they're comfortable! Flexible seating (there are cheap options - lap desks, cheap beanbag chairs, patio cushions, etc)! Math manipulatives! Magnetic letter tiles! There's probably more but you'll build up what you need in time and with special Ed it might be totally different for everyone!

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I've been a SPED teacher for 17 years. I advise you to think long and hard about how much time you'd like to dedicate to teaching before you jump in, because being a SPED teacher is extremely time intensive. I still love the kids, which is how they rope you in, but the paperwork is grueling and the job is frequently demoralizing.

If your mind is already made up, I'd suggest investing in a Time Timer (it's a countdown clock) and depending on the size of your classes, a noise monitor. I used stamp charts to help with behavior management at the elementary level. (Quicker and cheaper than paper stickers) Board games can help you teach social skills, Silly Putty and gum when it's allowed, various pencil grips, rubber bands for desk and/or chair legs, and various inflatable wiggle cushions. Depending on where you get hired, you may have to supply your own curiculum. If that's the case, and it frequently is, try buying used when possible and copy like crazy. Also, lots and lots of pencils and pencil toppers. Good luck!

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Invest in an easy-to-use organizer/calendar that will help you stay on top of deadlines if you’re a “paper planner” like me. Erin Condren and Lily Pulitzer make fantastic investments. Don’t skimp on it. If it works, it’s worth it’s weight in gold. Also get notebooks and file folders to help with data collection and help the kiddos with organization. Pencils, too. Headphones and room dividers to create a “chill out area.”

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Math manipulatives-ruler, deck of cards, timers, play money, dry erase boards and markers, counters, base ten blocks, clocks, dice
For ELA-magnet letter tiles, colored overlays, lined paper, pencils, sentence strips

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I’m a substantially separate high school sped teacher. My laminator is my best friend. I laminate everything especially task cards/activities so they last longer. Velcro. Lots of Velcro. And a label maker. Being in SPED will force you to be creative. I turned a Monopoly board game into a more realistic version for money practice. They used real looking play money and the values were changed to amounts they were more used to. They have to count back change and manage the bank plus manage their properties and collect their rent.

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You will need your own personal B/W laser printer for printing IEPs & progress notes without having to run to the copier & wait in line. As a SPED teacher, you can buy that with EFF funds, whereas other teachers cannot.

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Sound proof booths for each student. 😂😂😂😂

Congratulations! Small individual white boards and markers. Not sure what you’re teaching but chapter books at varying reading levels or whatever books would appeal to your students

In my classroom I keep hot glue guns, Velcro, magnets, counting jigs, manipulatives along with the standard math tools. I have a wide range of levels, from severe/profound to MILD. I do a lot of hands-on learning, tactiles, and moment with sensory breaks.

I found it useful to take notes in a Google Doc when I was internalizing my students’ IEPs in the end of the year. I put down the most important information which I could refer to whenever needed and shared with other teachers on my grade level (such as strengths and needs, accommodations, services, etc.) As I was working with the students, I added my notes as well, and that helped me write teacher reports for their next annual review.

Always be recreating for your students Be a good listener half patience Be very flexible!

Congratulations!!! 🎉
Sensory or calming basket (big), comfy chair (beanbag), breathing exercises- visuals, lots of visuals, trampoline (mini if allowed), silent timer.
Join with the students and be their advocate!
Remember, some kids act out behaviorally over the fact that they struggle academically. For some it’s safer to feel that they did poorly bc they didn’t try vs repeatedly trying and failing.

You’ll do great!!!

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