Reports Briefs Presentations webinars Program Descriptions

Strand G: Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers

Lead Presenter: Mary Brownell

This strand addresses the challenges of finding an adequate supply of qualified special education teachers to effectively educate students with disabilities. In this introduction, participants learn about the factors contributing to chronic shortages of well qualified teachers; an insufficient supply of new teachers, particularly those who are culturally and linguistically diverse increasing numbers of special education teachers entering through fast track alternative routes, insufficient mechanisms for inducting special education teachers into the profession, and struggles retaining teachers in high poverty environments. Individual presentations following this overview provide participants with information about how these challenges can be addressed through effective partnerships among state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and Colleges of Education as well as strong induction and mentoring programs.


Session 1: Securing and Keeping Quality Special Education Teachers: Lessons from the Research

Presenters: Mary Brownell, Bonnie Billingsley, Naomi Tyler  & Paul Sindelar

In this presentation, factors are described contributing to shortages of quality special education teachers and strategies administrators and teacher educators can employ to ensure that every child with a disability has access to a quality special education teacher. Special attention is given to increasing the diversity of the special education workforce.


Supplementary material: SLIDES


Session 2: Building Effective Partnerships for Recruiting, Preparing and Mentoring Beginning Special Education Teachers

Presenters: Michael Rosenberg, Phoebe Gillespie, Erica McCray & Steven Kroeger

This presentation outlines the common characteristics of effective partnerships between state education agencies, local education agencies, and Colleges of Education for recruiting, preparing and retaining special education teachers. In addition, a statewide partnership between the Ohio State Department of Education and a consortium of higher education institutions is presented.


Supplementary material: SLIDES


Session 3: Teacher Induction and Mentoring: What We Know and Steps for Future Success

Presenters: Bonnie Billingsley, Cyndy Griffin & Margaret Kamman

This presentation presents major themes from the research literature on teacher induction in special education, considered in the context of the broader general education literature; unique aspects of these programs for special educators and descriptions of programs identified as promising from the literature.


Supplementary material: SLIDES


Session 4: Using Technology to Prepare and Mentor Beginning Special Education Teachers

Presenters: Sean Smith, Maya Israel & Alyson Mike

This presentation features the demonstration of technology-based applications critical for teacher recruitment and retention, especially during the induction years. Listeners will hear from researchers as well as practitioners currently engaged in the use of technology to facilitate effective mentoring during the initial years of the teacher’s career.


Supplementary material: SLIDES


Session 5: What Helps Beginning Special Education Teachers Learn to Teach?

Presenters: Margaret Kamman, Melinda Leko & Rachel Casey

This presentation describes the contextual and preparation supports that help beginning special education teachers learn and how context is especially important to teachers coming from fast track preparation routes. Listeners will hear one beginning special educator describe the contextual factors that helped her learn to teach in her first year.


Supplementary material: SLIDES


Session 6: Hanging on to the Good Ones: Supporting and Retaining High Quality Special Education Teachers

Presenters: Alison Banikowski, Kelly Tines, Laine Fasulo, Cristan Phillip & Tes Mehring

This presentation describes one large suburban school district’s standards-based new educator induction program. This award-winning, comprehensive program is aligned with the district Professional Development Model for all teachers and has proven successful in providing the necessary support and guidance to retain its high quality special educators.


Supplementary material: SLIDES

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