The first episode of The Frequency this school year includes a pair of interviews with our 2019 District Teachers of the Year - Laci Tonnesen of Sienna Crossing Elementary and Lorelei Thorp of Kempner High School. Both teachers discuss what led them to education and why they remain passionate about what they do and the students they support.
Statement from Dr. Deena Hill, Executive Director of Special Education in Fort Bend ISD:
It is true that overall, general education teachers do not feel truly prepared for the needs of students with disabilities in their classrooms. While the Special Education department offers training specifically for general education teachers working with this group of students, these courses are not required for them due to competing priorities.
The Special Education department is working on ways to embed special education topics into the required training for general education teachers. This was initiated in the summer of 2018 when special education information was embedded into the 7-hour Tier 1 instruction training. Additionally, courses were offered after school, at other times during the summer, and on request for particular campuses.
The Special Education Department is currently collaborating with Teacher Development to utilize teacher leaders from the special education teams to co-train with Teacher Development on required trainings, utilizing a Co-Teach model of instruction for the trainings. In addition, the Special Education Department provides specialized training for campuses based on Principal requests. These targeted trainings can be provided on campus during the instructional day or after school on a variety of topics with the goal of building capacity within the campus staff.