Compromise is usually seen as a process between two adults. Compromise between an adult and a student in an education setting has some complications. This week, Renay had a few compromises with students. Which made us wonder, how do paraeducators understand compromise as a education tool?
The set up matters before offering a compromise between an adult and a student. Compromises that occur at the last possible minute are usually questionable without a lot of wisdom behind the offer. For example, a student requests to avoid using a graphic organizer and ‘just wants to type their essay’. Considering the student’s previous progress with writing an essay. But since most of the initial essays may not have occurred this academic year yet: a reasonable compromise may be, “Show me one paragraph lined out with a graphic organizer and I will consider your request.” On the contrasting side: compromises that involve “Please do this because we really need to get this done.” is probably not in the best interest. Some students need built in breaks. Others need larger incentives that are tangible – grades aren’t concrete to some students and aren’t enough evidence to the student to make effort on their part.
Some focus points for compromise
- Always lay out the goals of the lesson or activity.
- If a compromise is needed, give the student(s) something to work towards.
- Follow through on a compromise. This is literally the most important part. If the student cannot reasonably meet up their half, even with help, then perhaps their idea of a goal is still too big. And you need to have that conversation with the student in a respectful manner.
Not every interaction with a student involves compromise. But this is a way of checking in and making a professional relationship with a student and checking with a student as to their progress for the things their teachers are holding them accountable for.
Looking at some dust
We have about twelve to fifteen drafts of blog posts that have been sitting digitally in our archives that have just not gone anywhere. Part of the reason, is when Renay starts a pitch, sometimes, there isn’t a lot of information at hand. Until recently, this has always been our main problem. After all, we cannot write an entire blog through hearsay and conjecture. While our observations are usually professionally interesting, they don’t do much for us in the actual information world.
But what do we do with the smaller blog posts and ideas we have had all these last eight years? The only thing anyone can do: we sit on the topics.
Things we have in the pipeline:
- Conversations between other bloggers in the Inclusive Education Community
- Letters to parents/guardians
- Letters to siblings
- About the transition between paraeducator to special education teacher (or any teacher)
- Conversations about building community of professionals in pursuit of inclusion
- Conversations with text book publishers
Before we go:
ParaEducate will take the week of United States Thanksgiving off, November 28th. If you celebrate any variation of Thanksgiving, we hope you are with people who appreciate you and the things you bring to the table.
And to our veterans, especially those who have served the armed forces and are brave enough to enter the classroom, here and abroad, we thank you for your service and sacrifices.
ParaEducate will be off the week of November 28. Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.