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IRIS Stories

IRIS resources are used throughout the United States and around the world. Now, we’re sharing the stories and experiences of our users in their own words. Whether told by college and university faculty, state or district personnel, school principals, or classroom teachers, every IRIS story teaches us something new.

IRIS in Alabama: An Alternative Certification Route for Teachers

IRIS resources are embedded throughout Alabama’s personnel development system, from use in initial preservice preparation programs and alternative certification routes to lifelong learning through ongoing professional development and personalized learning. In fact, over 20,000 educators at all stages of their careers used IRIS resources in 2023. Here are a few examples: Initial Preparation Preservice: IRIS[…..]

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IRIS on Their Minds: The University of North Georgia and IRIS Modules

  An Assistant Professor of Education at the University of North Georgia (UNG), Jennifer Sears teaches a variety of courses that cover everything from introductory topics in special education to instructional methods to applied behavior analysis. She works with teacher candidates in the elementary, middle grades, and special education programs. Jennifer got to know IRIS[…..]

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Using IRIS to Mentor First-Year Teachers

How should I set up my classroom? How will I implement my classroom behavior management plan? How can I best support all of my students? What is my role during an IEP meeting? As they face unique challenges and unfamiliar situations each day, many first-year teachers ask these same questions. As post-doctoral scholar Angelica Fulchini[…..]

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IRIS in Oklahoma: Boot Camps to Address Teacher Shortages

Jill Hilst is a professional development specialist at the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) within the Special Education Services Division. Some 16% of Oklahoma’s approximately 700,000 students receive special education services. Like many states, Oklahoma faces a critical shortage of certified special education teachers. Following a legislative request, OSDE was tasked with developing a[…..]

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IRIS in Kentucky: Hybrid Trainings on High-Quality IEPs

Tricia Bronger, director of the Greater Louisville Education Cooperative (GLEC), and Christy Rhodes, a consultant for GLEC, provide technical assistance in the form of professional development (PD) and coaching to administrators and teachers in Jefferson County Public Schools and Kentucky School for the Blind. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, they serve just under 13,000 students with[…..]

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IRIS in the Sunshine State: Use in College Courses and Sharing with Colleagues

Dr. Mary Little, a special education faculty member at the University of Central Florida, conducts research on evidence-based instructional practices, interventions, and teacher efficacy. But it was in her role preparing future educators to increase their use of evidence-based practices that Dr. Little’s relationship with IRIS blossomed. Initially, she identified IRIS resources that aligned with[…..]

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IRIS & the Next Generation: Supporting Classrooms

In the IRIS Story “IRIS in the Sunshine State: Use in College Courses and Sharing with Colleagues,” Dr. Mary Little, special education faculty member at the University of Central Florida (UCF), explained how she introduces her teacher candidates to the free resources available from OSEP-funded centers, including the IRIS Center. Two of her students, one[…..]

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IRIS & the Alabama SDE: Addressing Behavior

The IRIS Center’s productive relationship with the Alabama State Department of Education began when the state required its teachers to complete the IRIS module Effective School Practices: Promoting Collaboration and Monitoring Students’ Academic Achievement. This resource highlights partnerships between general education and special education teachers that result in the creation of a collective responsibility and[…..]

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IRIS & the Alabama SPDG: One Step Further

It’s becoming increasingly common for schools and districts to use our IRIS professional development resources to help their teachers sharpen their skills or to learn new classroom instructional and behavior practices. In Alabama, however, Curtis Gage and the State Personnel Development Grant decided to take their professional development training a step further and include a[…..]

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