I’m a special educator. I teach children with an Autism certification in Michigan. I had searched for solutions to the never-ending stacks of papers, lists, and notes I’d tried to organize over and over. I started using the Birdhouse for Teachers app when they first launched and have already seen so many improvements to help with more of my needs.
This app has made my job easier and my classroom more organized.
I am so excited for the new version coming this fall that I wanted to write this post for them, so other teachers could share in the success. It has saved me time in ways I would’ve never thought, and made certain parts of my work much more effective. It hasn’t changed the way I teach and care for my students, but it makes my life so much easier. Not only can I focus more on doing the important things that really make a difference, but the organization and improvements in my records allows me to do new things and do them better.
You can sign up now to get an invite as soon as it’s ready for the Fall
Here are some of the ways Birdhouse has helped me to be a better teacher:
- Keeping track of all communication with parents/guardians (in person, email, phone calls)
- Keeping track of all therapies and support services and notes from therapists (this was extremely helpful for monthly Medicaid billing)
- Documenting behaviors (antecedent, duration, intensity, consequences)
- Keeping track of victories or achievements
- Recording of daily notes (I really like how emails were sent to me daily and all I had to do was reply to the email if I wanted to record something for that specific student)
Some specific examples:
- I really liked how each category in the Birdhouse database can be exported to an excel spreadsheet and printed. This was extremely useful for writing IEP’s. It was also great when a parent asked me for some information, I could go back and show documentation for the entire year.
- The principal of my school regularly collects our parent contact logs. I was able to export all the parent communications for each student from Birdhouse and print them for my log.
- A parent had to show documentation of behaviors and therapies to receive support services and subsidies outside of school. I was able to print everything from Birdhouse and give it to her to turn in.
- At IEP meetings, I was able to pull up Birdhouse and show data of certain behaviors. For example, I had a student that would sleep daily at school for extended amounts of time. I was able to track the sleep daily using Birdhouse. After weeks of data collection we were able to look for patterns in the students sleep habits at school and work to eliminate them.
- My school district does Medicaid billing monthly. I log all my students’ therapy sessions in school (PT, SW, OT, SLP). I also keep track of all conversations with the therapists using Birdhouse. At the end of each month, I can go to each student’s Birdhouse and use the information to log my Medicaid in the system.
If you’re a teacher, you know that each school day is long and busy. There’s just so much going on and so much to remember. I have my Birdhouse account set up to send me a daily email for each student at 3:00 PM. It asks me if there is anything I would like to record for the day. All I have to do is reply to the email and it will post right to my Birdhouse for that specific student. I mean, it can’t be made any easier than that! I don’t post for every student every day, but it allows me to put in notes before I forget them.
They have a free version, and paid version that comes with more features that makes it easier to use & to do more.
Believe me, I understand that it’s hard to pay for yet another thing as a teacher, but the time I’ve saved and the stress relieved by making my job easier has made it well worth the money I spend for Birdhouse.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask about the app or how I’ve used it successfully, please write them in the comments below and I’ll write you back.
The Birdhouse team (who are super friendly and there to help you make it work for you) will also chime in with their expertise 😉
You can also follow Birdhouse on their Facebook page and Pinterest for special education teachers, where they share lots of great content just for us!
If you are a parent, check out their app for you – Birdhouse for Special Needs
I hope this helps some of you as much as it’s helped me and my special students!