Category Archives: Schools

Conferences…and an Outstanding Teacher!

It is not my policy to write about the teachers that my sons have from year to year, at least not specifically. There are times, however, when my thoughts are, of course, informed by what my sons and their classmates are experiencing throughout the year, and I write about them in a collective way, with generalities and take away thinking that comes from the conversations and contexts. There is too much at stake when it is your own child, and, try as I may to be as even handed in my praise or my critique of teachers, when it comes to my own children…well, they are my children and I am only human. So, typically, I avoid writing about people that are in charge of a large chunk of their day.

Today, I need to step away from that practice, and highlight one of my son’s teachers, as I think she deserves to be honored for who she is and what she does so naturally. Additionally, I believe she embodies what I try to describe many times throughout my posts as what I would hope teachers would strive for daily in their work with kids. It is because of this, I want to write about her today, and share her example with you.

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Winner of the Paraprofessional Curriculum Giveaway!

At LONG last (I realize that I have been away for a while…), I have randomly chosen a winner of my job-embedded paraprofessional curriculum. I placed the names of the commenters in a hat, and had my nine-year old draw one lucky winner (he loves to get into the action!).

The winner is Megan Gross! Megan is an instructional support teacher at an elementary school in Northern California. She currently supports students with mild to moderate disabilities in their general education classes, grades K-2, and has previously worked as an inclusion specialist for students with mild to severe disabilities at an inclusive junior high. She has been asked to support her campus in providing paraprofessional training.

Additionally, Megan is the co-author of ParaEducate, a wonderful book written for paraeducators, by paraeducators. It is a highly valuable resource that I have used to inform my practice, and I think you should check it out to further your understanding of how to support paraprofessionals in the work they do everyday. Megan and her co-author, Renay Marquez, also have a blog dedicated to their ongoing work for ParaEducate. I highly recommend you add it to your reading list!

I am THRILLED that Megan is the winner, as I am anxious for a person that is immersed and knowledgeable in the training and support of paraeducators, as well as the inclusion of students with disabilities, to take a closer look and potentially use my work paired with hers.

Congratulations, Megan! I look forward to our future conversations together!

PART THREE: A Detailed look at the Paraprofessional Job-Embedded Curriculum…the last, but NOT least!! AND, don’t forget….the GIVEAWAY!

Do yourself a favor and check out my previous posts that gave an overview and further details about this fabulous curriculum that you must have!! I have spent a lot of my blog time focused on this curriculum for a reason. It is the perfect time of the year to be thinking about paraprofessional training, and even more appropriate to think about how to do it in your own schools, with your own teams, engaging in conversation about your own students in a staff development format that is grounded in research and what we know about adult and student learning!

In this final post about the curriculum, I will describe the remaining two instructional parts and the units that comprise them. Please don’t forget to comment or ask questions, as you will be entered into the drawing to receive a free copy of the curriculum! All comments and questions from this post, as well as any from the first two posts will be entered for the drawing, and will be awarded next week!

The curriculum is divided into the following four instructional parts, with a total of seven instructional units:

Overview of the four instructional parts of the curriculum and the seven individual units

Overview of the four instructional parts of the curriculum and the seven individual units

The first two parts were described here. The parts that I would like to describe today are units three through seven. These five units are especially useful in schools for paraprofessional training. They comprise the instructional and academic areas, as well as promote understanding of behavior and relationships of the students they support. While the first two units concentrate on laying groundwork for paraprofessionals to understand their roles in inclusive settings, the five units I will describe today offer skill development and tools for paraprofessionals to use every day in their work with students. Continue reading