March 29, 2014 § 1 Comment
I’m not sure exactly when I learned it, maybe as a young teacher, maybe shortly after diagnosis but somewhere along the line I heard the words “save everything.”
Saving “stuff” in general goes against the type of person that I am. I hate clutter. I get a thrill from getting rid of large amounts of stuff. My mom is the same way and taught me how to “throw stuff away” from the time I was little. I have done the same with my kids.
So the advice save everything goes against the grain for me.
Of course what I am talking about is paper work, documents, test results, doctors reports, report cards, progress note and IEPs.
I have a cabinet above my refrigerator designated just for this need. I hate opening it…it’s a mess! I have every piece of paper going back to diagnosis and early intervention days. I’ve been told to NEVER throw it away. It establishes need over time.
I am most organized during re-evaluation years and those documents are tucked perfectly organized in three ring binders, but over time I start shoving stuff in. I have had to make copies of the most recent binder several times for various doctors and for the school. Last fall it was referred to by the Sped Coordinators as a “binder of epic porportions.”
I am sure many of you have these binders. If you don’t you probably should or invest in a scanner, which with technology today would be far more functional.
What I haven’t done a good job at is saving is work samples. UGH…how could I mess up like that?!?! I didn’t really think about the weight that work samples over time could have when trying to develop an appropriate IEP. Having recently signed my daughter’s Alternative MCAS assessment and seeing the work presented in it, I was floored by the lack of progress the school has attempted to make with her. I was floored by the blatant ignoring of her IEP goals and the pages upon pages of grade/age INAPPROPRIATE papers. It is so infuriating that my daughter had more math skills before when she was included in a regular math class than she does now having been placed in a more “intensive” math program. I kept thinking “I want to show them what she used to be able to do! I want to show them the skills she has lost.”
So lesson learned – hoard…….be a hoarder save EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING!