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 →
Another recent reflection of mine...Mirror Lake at Yosemite National Park. Inspirational!
It has been a busy couple of months for me. I have been in circles of people that are my academic superheroes, and if you will allow me to – I would love to drop a few names before reflecting about my learning in this post.
Linda Darling-Hammond spoke at a PTA event that I attended, where she talked about her book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future. An incredible evening where she spoke about what she knows about the US and how our education is being impacted by the high stakes assessment and funding streams that exist, which create not only an achievement gap as we typically would define it, but an experiences gap that affects kids around the country. In places like Palo Alto, California, where I heard her speak and she is a local, the difference in per pupil spending dwarfs that of neighboring schools in nearby San Jose. Her data was hard to hear about how this affects the kids in schools, and how many places throughout the US experience much the same gap. Continue reading →
Despite my paperwork and degree being completed in the fall of this past year, there was only one commencement ceremony for the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota this spring. So, when I decided to walk in commencement last week, my thoughts were, as I already had my degrees framed and placed on the wall weeks ago – that I would do it only so my three young boys could see the end result of my late hours and hard work all the while raising them to be the young men that they are. It has all been so abstract for them.
I started my Masters program when I was pregnant with my first son; he is now 12 years old. I received my Masters in education around the time that I had my third son, and went on to pursue my doctorate. The culmination of all of this work happened in a real way last week, as I sat there with my colleagues, professors and friends waiting for my Ed.S. to be conferred. I imagined the night as something that would be exciting for the boys to see, as well as important for them to realize. A woman, not just any woman, but their mother, going through all of the pomp and circumstance in full regalia! I was so very right in thinking that it would be a good thing for them to be a part of – they are still congratulating me as I tuck them in for bed at night, and wearing my mortar board around the house during the day, all the while talking about what they want to do when they grow up. Continue reading →