No matter the industry, meetings happen. Whether official or unofficial, meeting have two main purposes: to convey information and to potentially resolve issues. In a special education staff meeting, the world is usually about the road to a solution. At the beginning of the school year, it feels all you need are meetings to better understand the student you’re working with, the changes that have happened in the new year, or to get a handle on the
Some of these solutions are easy to resolve with a phone call or an email home for the things that are missing or regularly forgotten or for clarifying a change in the student’s day or after school care.
Other solutions are about responding to academic needs: “Does this [assignment] need to be in a lower reading level?” or “Should we try to give [this student] a bigger academic challenge in [class].”
Quick notes are helpful to people who haven’t worked with a specific student. “Be honest with this student.” “Keep this student away from [item or person that will cause issues].” “This student has a [health item] in their backpack they need at all times.” “This student really likes the movie “[Movie/TV Show/Book]”, whatever you can do to get the student time to earn to watch parts of “[Movie/TV Show/Book]” will be very motivating.” “This student is wonderful, but struggles in [skill].” “This student tires easily.” “This student is working on using [form of communication]” Get the highlights out, be factual and keep rolling because you’re
And then there are the longer conversations, “I’ve seen this student with [this behavior]”, or “This student and their health needs have changed.” Or the more serious conversation, “This student has a lot going on, it isn’t just [this disability], but it’s [all of these issues].”
There are other meetings, specific to the beginning of the school year, “I’ve seen [this student] and I’m concerned that they may need help and they should be on RtI.”
And then stepping aside, to broaden the approach to the student’s needs, “Why did you choose [X] for student instead of doing [Y]?” And I’ll explain.
Checking in with the general education teacher about the student’s needs. “Hey I was thinking about using [X] with [Student], here is what it might look like.”
In those days and weeks since school has begun, you’ve done a hundred little informal meetings and they’ve helped to create a great foundation to your school year. Keep it up, the year has just started.
While I have you here: ParaEducate is posting quite early today. We’re off on a side tracked adventure we’re hopefully going to get to tell you about. At this point, all we’ve done is read the materials and prepared for tomorrow. We’ll let you all know how it goes.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and here. ParaEducate is 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 weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.