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Joan Grim

Joan Grim

Senior Lecturer, Special Education


Joan Grim is senior lecturer in special education. Grim graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1976 with a BS degree in Special Education. In 1986, she received her master's in Special Education from UT and also earned licensure endorsement in early childhood special education in 1993.

Grim was a special education teacher and administrator in Knox County Schools from 1979 until 2001. She completed PhD courses at Vanderbilt in 2005.

She is the past president of Tennessee Council for Exceptional Children (TennCEC) from 2020 - present. She served as president elect from 2015 - 2017 and as president from 2017 -2019. 

Her current position stems from her long-term relationship with the college of education as a teacher and administrator in Knox County Schools. Primary responsibilities include preparing pre-service educators, teaching introductory to special education and methods courses, supervising practicum placements and acting as faculty advisor for the Best Buddies program and the Student Council for Exceptional Children.

Her current interests are in designing pre-literacy and Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) communication instruction for students with autism, complex communication needs or low incidence disabilities and birth through preschool. Her current publications and presentations include topics on developing pre-service teacher pre-literacy tool-kits, teaching children with autism and low incidence disabilities to read and write with purpose, embedding Augmentative Alternative Communication into literacy instruction, and using feedback to enhance pre-service teacher’s instructional performance.

Grim is committed to a high-quality personnel preparation program grounded in the philosophy that teaching is a developmental process, thus, partnerships for planning and evaluation to promote student growth and talents have been integrated into all of her UT classes.

Professional Background

Joan Grim

Contact Information

  • A413 Jane & David Bailey Education Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-4155
  • E-mail: