It is the time of year when we are seeing a bunch more teachers who are looking to increase the level of intervention with their students for various reasons. Many are asking, “What should I do?”. They have tried many of their own strategies and have improved the situation, but they have run out of tools in their toolbox. Here is a thought that passed through my head while thinking about these situations:
Caring + Intervention + Monitoring + Patience
Ultimately, the worst thing one can do is nothing, but sometimes we forget that patience is a needed part of any change. It is when we find the balance between intervention and patience that we see results and are most effective. While we are being patient we must monitor and support, this way we are ready to react to any major issues. All of this comes from caring and doing what we think is best for our students.
Pretty basic and simplistic really, but it spoke to me… Well actually at that point I was speaking to myself I guess. Yikes! Maybe I need an intervention, or perhaps just some patience. I’ll just monitor for now.
A few weeks ago we had our first round of Parent-Teacher Interviews. I was speaking with some staff and said it was one of my favorite events of the year. They looked at me like I had lost my mind (this admin thing finally got to him), but I really do love the conversations that happen at these events. Although they can change names and format (Student-Led Conferences, Educational Team Conferences, etc.), I think Parent-Teacher Interviews are one of the most important times of the year. Here are a few reflections on why I love PTI’s.
Most good ideas become great ideas throught discussion, also most problems are solved by talking about them. PTIs give a structured time for great communication and sharing. We can easily get “busy” and put some conversations off as they might be difficult. PTIs give everyone a chance to catch-up on the converstions that we usually say are important.
Familiarity brings comfort to most people. From a school perspective, when people come to the school they become more familiar with it, therefore more likely to come back and engage in different activities there. This process develops the sense of community and the support for the school. In short, PTI’s (as well as many other events) benefit the school by increasing community support.
We have all heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Whereas I don’t necessarity think you need the whole village, you do need a pretty big team. This starts with getting some key people on board and developping the relationship between these key players. By establishing and improving the relationship between people who have a personal interest in the same goal (to do what is best for students) we are more likely to achieve our goal.
I have the privelege to work in a school where we have a very active school community and excellent staff that communicates well and are invested in doing what is best for our students. I know that PTI’s have contributed to this reality.