What are the roles and responsibilities of the special educator in the collaboration process? What are they for the general educator? What potential conflicts may arise between the two roles? The special educator is responsible to see that an appropriate plan of learning (also called IEP ) is developed for each student requiring special education. A special educator is responsible for seeing that a student is allowed access to the general curriculum, yet at the same time, have a learning plan that allows the student to learn his/her level. The special educator must evaluate the needs of the student and then present the needs that he/she sees with the general educator. The special educator needs to be aware of the content and curriculum that the regular classroom teacher is implementing. From here, parents and administration should also become involved in the process. Through this collaboration; the special educator, along with the general educator, parents and administration, the team can develop a plan that works toward meeting the needs of the special needs student. Research has also proven that the role of administration in the collaboration process shows a positive outcome in the education of students requiring special education. The special educator needs to consistently keep an open communication with the general classroom teacher regarding the progress and needs of the student. The general educator is responsible for the individual needs of each student in his/her classroom. A general educator needs to be attentive to the needs of students that may struggle. The general classroom educator plays an important part in the collaboration process. Many times, the general classroom teacher is the first to notice special needs of a student. This type of teacher must collaborate with special education teachers, parents and administration on a regular basis. The regular classroom teacher must assist the general educator in seeing that the student’s IEP is implemented in the regular classroom. Communication is of utmost importance. The special educator needs to be open and willing to listen to the general educator and at the same time, be able to communicate in a non-threatening and professional manner the expertise that he/she can provide. It may be necessary for the special educator to help provide additional information to the general educator on the disability that the child may have and/or further information that will benefit the student. Involving the parents and Administration, at this point, helps to bring even more support to the process. Administration can help the collaboration process by implementing strategies, within the school, for general and special education teachers to follow. Conflicts can arise in the collaboration of general educators and special educators just as with any relationship. The general education teacher and the special education teacher need to be aware of the roles of each other. In understanding each other’s jobs, the two can more effectively collaborate and work toward the success of a student requiring special needs. When both of these types of teachers see the importance of each other, in the student’s learning process, conflicts can be avoided or lessened. If either teacher does not have a mindset of “team work” conflicts can arise. Education is changing rapidly in today’s time. I believe that special education is just starting to receive the spot light that it deserves. Growing up, special education students were looked down on and parents did not want to have a child in special education. That is now changing. Students that would have struggled through the regular classroom are now being worked with through special education and allowed to succeed. Basically, their needs are being met. The role of special educators is becoming more and more focused on and more needed. I am excited to see the future of education and the role of the special education teacher.