How can teachers successfully implement student-centered transition planning?
Page 7: Implementing Student-Centered Transition Planning
The successful implementation of any type of significant change, such as student-centered planning, requires a systematic process. This process often begins when the teacher becomes informed about the student-centered transition planning process. Once the teacher acquires this knowledge, he needs to share it with the other members of the team. This is also an opportunity to build their buy-in and support for the new process. Next, the teacher needs to make a plan to implement the three major components of student-centered planning which entail ensuring the student is:
- Using assessment information to develop goals
- Taking a leadership role in IEP meetings
- Evaluating progress toward meeting IEP goals
The teacher can use the table below as a starting point to determine what pieces of these three components he is currently implementing. It can also serve as a guide to determine how to improve student participation in areas of transition assessment and goal development, leading IEP meetings, and evaluating goals. Teachers can modify the table as needed throughout the implementation process.
|Implementing Student-Centered Transition Planning|
|Transition Assessment and Developing Goals||Always||Sometimes||Never|
|I discuss transition assessment and its purpose with my students.|
|I allow my students to complete self-assessments at their level of communication.|
|I regularly assess student interests, preferences, strengths, and needs.|
|I work with my students to develop IEP goals based on assessment results.|
|I encourage my students to talk with others to get their input.|
|Leading IEP Meetings|
|I make sure my students attend their IEP meetings.|
|I encourage students to invite team members to the IEP meetings.|
|I provide instruction on the terms commonly used in IEP meetings.|
|I encourage students to share their interests, strengths, preferences, and goals in their IEP meetings.|
|I help students identify the supports, modifications, and accommodations that are beneficial to them.|
|I support students when making choices about their high school program of studies and extracurricular activities.|
|I teach students how to evaluate their progress toward meeting IEP goals.|
|I work with students to develop ways to visually represent their progress (e.g., graphs, charts).|
|I teach self-determination skills to my students.|
Implementing student-centered planning is an ongoing process, one that takes years to refine. Teachers should start small and build on their successes. Using the table above, teachers can identify areas they might already be covering and further identify what they want to work on next.
Jim Martin and Kelly Smoak discuss simple ways that teachers can encourage and prepare students to be actively involved in the transition planning process.
Jim Martin, PhD
Director, Zarrow Center
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Oklahoma
Teacher, Special Education Resource
West Ashley High School