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A General Education Teacher’s Guide to Special Education

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Since its inception in 1975, Special Education has typically been viewed as a separate world in which all factors related to special education are viewed under the purview of the special education teacher or case manager. This separation in roles is likely due to the nature of funding sources and which funding stream pays for which type of service. Unfortunately, this funding division creates perceptions that are both misleading and counter to what is considered “best practice” in the ultimate goal of ensuring all students receive a free and appropriate public education.

It is essential to know that general educators have a significant and legal role to fulfill on the special education or child study team. Most special education processes begin with the experience and observations of the general education teacher and parents. For many general education teachers, the special education process is long and confusing as they attempt to address the critical needs of a student in their class.

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