For the month of March, I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol19) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.
I chose a word in January to guide some choices that I made throughout this year. It’s the eight year that I have chosen a word. This year’s word is reflection. Reflection.
Reflection: Child Study Reboot #sol19 #olw
March 14, 2019
It’s Friday. We sit around the table. There are five of us. We all want success… success for one child.
It should be simpler. We have many advance degrees, lots of experience. But this day, this day we came together at cross purposes. Different agendas made us like those Blind Men and the Elephant. We each saw an important part of the situation, but we couldn’t quite join those ideas together.
The teacher presented her concerns, the student could not articulate the lesson objective. while the student complied with tasks, perhaps she didn’t understand the greater goal. Was she understanding the work? At what place was she having difficulty? The teacher was unsure. Another teacher who works with the student saw a little different perspective. In her group, the student was a shining star. More willing to try and participate than other students. One person on the team remembered that we had met on this student the year before. Why don’t we continue those goals? One person was thinking about letting the teachers practice presenting information. Our schedule of presenting, questioning, problem-solving, reflecting, and goal-setting was totally side tracked in our examination of the elephant. The teacher left the room discouraged and still concerned. Two of the permanent members of the team looked at each other and said Redo.
We don’t usually redo. We don’t usually get sidetracked. We don’t usually struggle. This day we did.
The next Wednesday we come back. Three of us had taken a deep breath, thought deeply about what the teacher really said, wanted, needed. We had talked in twos in the days between and thought about the meeting and the need on our drives, while we lunched, in quiet moments.
We came back together. We apologized. We started from the ending place. We listened. What did the teacher need? What did the student need? If we woke up tomorrow and it was all in place, what would it look like? We heard. We paused. We stayed in the struggle until the teacher was heard and we understood the student.
We made a new plan, a coordinated plan, a plan with lots of ideas that went together, a plan we all understood.
A collective sigh of relief.
The reboot was a moderate success which beats a complete failure any day.
Our school based child study follows the basic tenets of the Consultancy Protocol. A problem is presented. The team clarifies the problem through probing and clarifying questions. The team varies but primarily consists of the presenter who is a teacher, a consultant teacher, guidance counselor, literacy specialist, and assistant principal, EL coordinator. It might contain more or less participants depending on the situation presented. The presenter becomes a listener and the team discusses possible strategies the presenter might attempt. The presenter restates strategies they might try. Goals are set and a follow up is scheduled.