The need for educational professionals, such as speech-language pathologists (SLPs), school nurses (RNs, LPNs, and LVNs), occupational therapists (OTs), physical therapists (PTs), and behavior technicians, has steadily grown, especially over the past ten years. Some of the most significant demand in schools nationwide is for experienced educators to work with students with special needs, including those with individualized education plans (IEPs).
IEPs require a multidisciplinary approach that combines input and instruction from multiple educational professionals to provide students with the support they need. Not only do IEPs guide instruction, but they also include the accommodations the students need, such as extra time on tests, preferential seating, sensory tools, and frequent breaks, and the educational goals each student should achieve as they progress throughout the school year.
All students, including those with IEPs, deserve the best education possible. Special education staffing agencies are an excellent way for school districts and educational organizations to ensure that highly-qualified professionals are in the classroom helping students every day.
How Staffing Agencies Help Students with IEPs and Teachers
Students have the best chance to excel academically when there is consistency in their school schedules, including working with the same educators each day. When an educational institution is understaffed, there is an additional burden on the existing faculty, which can result in high levels of burnout and more teachers leaving the profession. Unfortunately, when educators have high turnover rates, the students are affected the most. When school districts and educational institutions partner with staffing agencies to fill vacant positions, the hiring process accelerates until suitable candidates are found. This helps to alleviate disruptions to the students’ learning curves and prevent a more significant workload for the rest of the staff.
Also, staffing agencies have the know-how to find the candidates that would work best with particular kinds of students. This is not only beneficial for the students, but it helps special educators play to their strengths. For example, if educational institutions have students with IEPs due to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), special education staffing agencies can identify candidates with extensive experience in that field, which sets both the students and the teachers up for success.
Finally, one of the most vital roles of special educators is being advocates for their students. When schools are adequately staffed with assistance from staffing agencies, special educators get the opportunity to get to know their students and, more importantly, what their students need. Teachers can then use this knowledge to ensure that each lesson is planned to address the specific academic needs of the students.
Advantages of Using Staffing Agencies for Administrators
In addition to faster hires, other benefits of working with staffing agencies include:
- Eases the burden on administration – Although finding new personnel is part of an administrator’s roles and responsibilities, most would like to avoid the time-consuming task of sitting through interview after interview. Special education staffing agencies alleviate the time and effort of this aspect of an administrator’s job.
- Knowledge of the job market – An efficient staffing agency recognizes the trends of the current job market, unlike many administrators at educational institutions. This gives a staffing agency the advantage of knowing how and where to find the best applicants.
- Often cost-effective – When schools or school districts partner with special education staffing agencies, they save money on costs such as advertisements, recruiting, and background checks. With funding being as tight as it is in most schools, the advantage of using a staffing agency to hire can be desirable.
- An extensive database of professionals – Instead of starting from scratch and creating a list of suitable candidates, an experienced staffing agency will already have applicants that have been vetted and are ready for the first day on the job.