Two weeks ago, I decided that I needed to re-evaluate a student long before the 3 year evaluation date. It's a speech-only student so it *should* involve less headache. I did not take into account the fact that the regular education teacher would a) not respond to email (there are a few at my school that NEVER respond) forcing me to hunt her down b) decide that there is only one day a week that she's available c) complain that parents' time is too late (once we actually reached them on Thursday to set up a meeting for today thanks to the ASHA convention & Thanksgiving). To be fair to her, the parents didn't call back and confirm on Friday like they said the would. Needless to say, this caused quite a bit of chaos. The teacher informed them at a.m. drop off that the meeting was canceled since they didn't confirm. The poor interpreter called multiple times to confirm/reschedule with no answer because they're at work. I'm left on pins and needles while the teacher takes off as quick as she can after tutoring. The parents show up for their 4:30 meeting with just one team member present.
Now, this story is not to criticize teachers. I know how busy they are and could never teach a class of 30 by myself. The majority of the staff at my school are terrific. They will go out of their way to help you (and one teacher definitely did for me today so I could hold the meeting.) It's the same in the medical realm too. I remember all too well that there were doctors and nurses who were not very pleasant to deal with during my internship. Life usually hands you less than ideal situations.You are going to get that wherever you go. All I ask, is that a little critical thinking of perspectives be taken into account. You can bet that I apologized to the interpreter for driving her nuts the past three days as well as thanking everyone involved for helping me. (I'm pretty sure I resembled a crazy person from Thursday-5 pm today)
The moral of this story is to be as proactive as you can. Think about IEPs/re-evaluations at least a month in advance. Granted, this is a situation where I was thinking about the situation a month in advance. My biggest problem happens to be the holidays that throw off my January clients. (Don't do IEPs in early January if you can help it. Get them done in December or plan super ahead of schedule.) Also, learn about the teaching staff sooner rather than later. Ask the EC teachers because they know who is going to give you a headache. I didn't have to work with this teacher last year and had no clue that emails just weren't her thing. I really don't mind asking people in person for information if I know that it works better for them. Also, critical thinking is not just for making it out of college alive. It's a life-long skill that should be considered a vital component of any job.
In happier news, I am getting closer to figuring out which courses I want to attend at the convention! I wish I could attend all of them.