When I'm asked to participate in developing an IEP, I never know what to say. What is my role as a classroom teacher in helping to develop a student's IEP?

As a classroom teacher, you play an essential role on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) team. You know the student's behavior in the classroom and how the student performs in a variety of contexts such as the playground, the lunchroom, and during transition times. You have an overview of how the student responds to a variety of instructional settings and insights into the student's social skills and friends. You know the strategies that have increased the student's ability to learn in a variety of settings and the conditions that may challenge the student.

Factual Information

All of this information about the student is critical in order to understand aspects of the student that help to form a complete picture of the student and his or her learning needs. This information about the student is important to share at IEP meetings and information that other team members may not be able to obtain through evaluation methods. Your role in presenting this information at the student's IEP team is critical in order to form a complete understanding of the student's strengths and needs. Parents value the classroom teacher's perspective and appreciate hearing information about peers and classroom learning.

Your knowledge about the student also gives you insights that assist in shaping the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and in identifying accommodations that are critical for student success in your classroom and other educational settings. The process of developing an appropriate IEP for each student is dependent on a variety of perspectives and your perspective is critical to this process.

Classroom Activities

If you are scheduled to participate in an upcoming meeting regarding a child, meet with the person responsible for conducting the meeting to learn about his or her expectations for your participation in the meeting.


Talk with your colleagues about their experiences at meetings at which student's needs are discussed and/or a student's Individual Education Plan was developed. Discuss what role they played in the meeting and what information they shared at the meeting that was helpful in assisting the team in determining the needs of the student.

Resources and Links