General Education Teacher - ARD/IEP Meeting Roles and Responsibilities

What We Do

A general educator must be included as they are a vital member of the IEP/ARD Meeting. Without the general education teacher's valuable participation, it would be difficult for the IEP (Individualized Education Program) team to take on its new responsibilities for looking at a student's progress in the general education curriculum, standards, and assessments.

The general education teacher will:

  • Complete the Teacher Input Form and submit the form to the Special Education Case Manager
  • Use their STEP binder to make informed recommendations to the ARD committee

The general education teacher also brings to the IEP team knowledge of:

  • The general education standards.
  • How the student with disabilities performs with the general education curriculum.
  • How the student interacts with her peers.
  • The pace of the class.
  • Other students.
  • The dynamics of the class.
  • Approaches for teaching the class as a whole.

General education teachers need to know that they are important players. They need to know what they are expected to contribute to the process and what kinds of support they will receive in return. For example, meaningful collaboration and support from special education staff through the use of instructional ideas and collecting data on accommodations to meet the individual needs of a diverse group of students as they help them to learn effectively.

To be part of the IEP team, general educators need to look at their own beliefs and biases regarding students with disabilities. It is important to own up to biases where they exist, but not let them color one's attitude toward a particular student. To be an effective part of the IEP process, general educators will also need to:


  1. Know how to communicate effectively and work within a team context.
  2. Know how to observe special education students and record their behaviors objectively in order to help IEP teams track these students' progress.
  3. Describe a student's performance and behaviors to emphasize the student's strengths.
    • Some general educators will need to learn how to describe a student's progress, weaknesses, and needs in appropriate, positive language. The idea is to describe the progress the student is making, no matter how small, and to focus on how to get to the next step. For example, "Jim can't add" is vague, derogatory, and doesn't describe what Jim can do. "Jim can count up to twenty by ones. We are working on having him count to fifty." is more positive, accurate, and points to the next goal. 
  4. Convey to the other IEP team members an acceptance and willingness to actively participate in the IEP process.
  5. Be willing to try new approaches in working with students with special needs.
  6. Be willing to ask for additional assistance when this is needed.
  7. Complete Teacher Input Forms for each student before the IEP Meeting

Additional Resources

Adapted from content found on