Just like most teachers, special education teachers go above and beyond the call of duty to learn how to be the best they can be for their students. Fortunately, there are many excellent books and resources available on the market today. The following five books provide important insights and tools to help teachers in their challenging and rewarding career.
1. Encyclopedia of Special Education: A Reference for the Education of Children, Adolescents, and Adults Disabilities and Other Exceptional Individuals
Editors: Cecil R. Reynolds, Kimberly J. Vannest and Elaine Fletcher-Janzen. Publisher: Wiley, 2014
This four volume set provides a thorough look at the latest information about school psychology, neuropsychology, current legislation, guidelines and practices for special education. While the third edition was published in 2007, the fourth edition adds over 200 more entries with new reviews of current curricula and tests in use today. In addition, this comprehensive set focuses on current changes in special education issues including the use of technology, international attention and RTI.
2. Meeting the Challenge: Special Education Tools that Work for All Kids
Author: Patti Ralabate. Publisher: National Education Association, 2002
This book is designed to be a classroom resource for special education teachers. With each chapter, educators can quickly find strategies to help their students succeed. Divided into six critical areas, this book provides important tools such as:
- Utilizing classroom-based assessment for struggling students.
- Observing and addressing behavioral challenges.
- Collaborating with other team members effectively.
- Creating educationally-appropriate student expectations.
- Developing modifications and accommodations within the classroom.
- Communicating with parents.
The book also contains sample check lists, forms, rubrics, observation guides, planning guides, sample lesson plans and word lists.
3. Negotiating the Special Education Maze
Authors: Deidre Hayden, Cherie Takemoto, Winifred Anderson and Stephen Chitwood. Publisher: Woodbine House; 4th edition, 2008
This classic book is now in its fourth edition to include the most recent changes in special education. With its focus on time-tested insight into special education, this book covers everything from the initial evaluation process, developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP), planning an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and best practices for classroom placement. From keeping valuable records to monitoring progress, this latest edition also includes information on how students can effectively transition from high school to adult life.
4. The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for your Special Ed Child
Author: Lawrence M. Siegel. Publisher: NOLO Eighth Edition, 2014
The Complete IEP Guide focuses on understanding and creating an effective Individualized Education Program (IEP) for special education children. From the classroom set up, excellent curricula, helpful support services and appropriate educational goals, this book covers every aspect of the IEP. Now in its eighth edition, this book is a valuable resource for educators and parents. From start to finish, this book helps educators with strategies, instructions, resources and forms to get through the complicated procedure of setting up an IEP.
5. The Special Educator’s Survival Guide
Author: Roger Pierangelo, Ph.D. Publisher: Jossey-Bass; Second edition, 2004
The Special Educator’s Survival Guide is specifically written to help teachers with every part of their daily teaching duties. From the referral process, evaluations, classroom placement, medication, educational legal requirements and IEPs, this guide offers useful reproducible forms, sample lesson plans, parent letters and checklists. Moreover, this book is designed to fold flat for easy photocopying. This book contains many illustrations and is designed to work in all types of special education classroom settings.
These five outstanding books all provide valuable information to assist special education teachers with their work. For additional resources, visit the National Education Association website.