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October Exhale

October Exhale is a term used by teachers when September is over and there is a sense of routine in the school day and more work can get done.

Blackboard that has the words

Back to school is a very busy time with new caseloads, students, schools, and colleagues. As we slowly fall into a routine, now is the time to really hit our stride with teaching content, making great progress on IEP (Individualized Educational Program) goals, and conducting assessments.


Student’s Schedules

Take a look and evaluate how the student is doing with their current schedule as an IEP team. Is it working? Is the student being successful with their current work load?

Sometimes we find that afternoons can be a hard time for learning new content or doing tasks that require maximum focus. The team may also now realize that the student needs more or less adaptations and support. These reviews should all be ongoing throughout the school year but this time of the year is most important to set up optimal success.

Is the student understanding their school schedule? Students need to understand the routine of each school day so they can anticipate the day ahead.

Creating a Daily Calendar

Microsite for calendar ideas and tips that include braille, tactile, and calendar boxes.

APH Classroom Calendar in braille and large print

APH (American Printing House for the Blind) has classroom calendars and calendar boxes for daily schedules.

Educator’s Schedules

Itinerant teachers and therapists have really challenging schedules, especially if they are in multiple schools. October is a perfect time to reassess and assure they are realistic working schedules.

The article, On the Path to Being an Itinerant with Several School Districts, gives concrete ideas on how to stay organized and on top of student and teacher schedules when in several school districts.

Year at a Glance from Teaching Students with Visual Impairments gives guidelines and forms that can be helpful as well.


Getting to know new students can be a challenge if you don’t see your students daily. Making sure the IEP is understood, talking to the parents and former teachers, and creating new relationships with the current IEP team are all important factors.

Each time you meet with your student, you are assessing. Along with creating data for IEP goals, you must also assess how the student is learning, if the adaptations are in place, and are other staff members following the IEP?

Paths to Literacy has many resources to help with the assessment process.

Assessment Microsite

APH has designed different assessments to help in the process.

Data Collection

“Show me the data” is a common response from the IEP when requesting more time with a student or when making new recommendations. Data collection is essential documentation for the work taking place.

Data Sheets for Tracking IEP Goals

Check Please? Guidelines for Documentation of Student Work

Blackboard with the words Planning Time with a drawing of a stop watch and a person waking up the steps.

Falling into a work rhythm creates less stress for us all. As teachers, staff, and students have this sense of schedule and routine, the real work of learning can take place. This is valuable time so make the most of it.

October Exhale title with a picture of a pencil on a table that reads, "Inhale, Exhale."
A woman holding a small pumpkin

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Illustrated bus with Back to School written on its side with a large book and pencil on top of it

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