Summer has been flying by. Renay has been preparing a rough draft of the newest book and while we all agree it has been long past time that this book is prepared at least in draft form, we are nowhere near ready to publish this book this summer. However, that is not to say that we are not thinking about the upcoming year or how things just always change and the dynamics of how things work in education. And everything is about dynamics.
Dynamics with the students. Dynamics with the teachers. Dynamics with administration. Navigating these ins and outs with all these people can be quite daunting especially when one has been in a particular school for many years. There are the established relationships, then there are the relationships that are in flux, and then there are new relationships.
The example we most often refer to is the relationships with students because it is not uncommon to know a student and learn more about that student as time goes on. Especially over the ten to twelve weeks that end in a school year, the student has grown up and changed. And that can be stunning. Last year a student was called a nickname, this year the student wants to be called their given name. The student focuses on three icons on their communication system but now goes into a menu for an additional word. However, the same student enjoys bouncing a ball on the playground or twirling a piece of string. That does not mean to say the student is not growing up. For staff that comes in and out or are reassigned to older students, it is hard to remember that the student is growing up. It is tempting to fall back on a familiar relationship dynamic. But pausing and realizing that the student has changed in the time since you last were together, can help bridge a gap, and allow the student to continue to grow.
Between adults—life changes perspectives. And while working with a student with a disability has the advantage of time, adults may not necessarily have that built-in perspective.
As we head into August, we are looking at scheduling and what retention of staff really means and if there is something we can keep doing to avoid revisiting the first-year paraeducator training for all the staff every year.
The new year is about to reach us ready or not. Hopefully, this year will be much better than the last two years.
ParaEducate blog will return monthly this academic year from August to June.
Do you have any comments about this month’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 providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published once a month during the academic school year. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.