Lately I have been working with a number of parents and schools during this busy time of year, when IEPs are needing to be revisited and plans for next year put in place for kids with disabilities (take a minute to read my posts about IEPs for some ideas of where to begin and important things to think about during this very necessary, and hopefully meaningful, process).
During the conversations I have been having lately, it dawned on me that when people are planning for next year and thinking about what did or didn’t work well this year, the use of paraprofessionals to support kids with disabilities is a central issue that can make or break a student’s success. IEPs that include paraprofessionals must consider quality professional development and the time to do that development effectively for paraprofessionals. Now is the time to start thinking about how that can look, and planning when it will happen. I have a great resource to offer. Continue reading →
Today I read the book written by Craig and Patricia Neal with Cynthia Wold, called The Art of Convening: Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings, and Conversations. I have wanted to read this book for many reasons, one of which is that I feel that the facilitation of groups is a skill that needs purposeful practice and reflection in order to become better at creating meaningful relationships that move systems forward to action. Another reason is that Craig and Patricia are better known in our home as “Bop and Nana”, as they are the grandparents of my boys’ best friends.
It is interesting when you read a person’s work, versus just talking to them about what they do. I found that when I first posted on my blog, many people commented to me about how they never knew what the degree of my passion or experience within schools was – despite knowing me for a long time. There were not occasions to discuss it to that degree, and reading on my blog brought them to a new understanding of what I do and why I do it. Continue reading →