Learn all about student led IEP's and how these are empowering students!
A recent interview with Audrey Hernandez (Education Specialist @CMA)
Tell me more about student-led IEP’s ?
“ So I had originally gotten the actual template from an online platform called Teachers Pay Teachers. A teacher posted on their IG and I had been wanting to do it for a long time. This allows students to be aware of their own SEL needs and I want them to know exactly what supports they need, so when they aren't receiving these they can advocate for themselves. I really want our staff and families to recognize that at this age student’s are realizing the areas that they are strong in and the areas that they are struggling in including academic, executive functioning, and social emotional. When students are at a place where they can recognize the great things that they are doing and good at they are more likely to want to work on the areas that they are struggling in. Although this my first time implementing direct student involvement in the IEP process, I plan to start this with students and their future IEP meetings. Research supports that students who are more involved in this process are more likely to succeed and learn leadership skills that will benefit them in all academic areas in and out of an educational setting.”
What do students get to learn from this?
“ This allows them to advocate for themselves and have and have access to resources that support their academic needs. I ask them to think about what they feel about their own strengths and areas for growth in the meeting. They develop a lot of self reflection- they identify what they are struggling with when they are in the classroom, etc. The student that led their own IEP talked about what these were for her and they aligned very closely to the data that we had already taken. This is allowing her to collaborate with us and meet her where she is at! The student was able to do this in front of her parents and they felt so much pride and joy for their daughter leading her own meeting. She wasn’t shy and this was very powerful!”
If you could relate this to one of our pillars, which one (s) would they be?
“ I would say ACT and HEART because it allows our students to take an action plan that they have. Recognize that they have goals and with these goals, in collaboration with their team, they are clearly able to understand their action plan for the next year. The meetings are about looking at the student holistically and looking at their strengths and being able to collaborate and share the love we have with the student. We recognize the gaps, but we really focus on the things that they can do.”
Has anything surprised you?
“ I think what surprised me the most was the willingness the student had. Her willingness to create a presentation about her areas of strength and growth and present it to her team with such maturity allowed me to feel a lot of pride for her.”