Please upload your response paper for week 5, and share your thoughts on others response papers.  
 


Comments

Janis Embree
02/13/2012 00:15

How will you build partnerships as a professional? What do you think is the keystone to building the partnership?
I will follow the seven principles of the family/parent partnership as much as I possibly can. I will communicate often and regularly with the child’s parents and other professionals about the student’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses, and problems. I will listen to others as the talk about their wishes, questions, goals, desires, and needs as they relate to the child, the family, and other professionals. I will demonstrate professional competence in my interactions with the child, their family, and other professionals. I will continue to learn and to find ways to improve my knowledge and skills. It is important to treat all with respect. Understanding and honoring cultural diversity is very important in families that are diverse. I will treat all with dignity. I will show commitment by being sensitive to emotional needs, being available and accessible. The next principle of equality means a sharing of power and responsibility. I will guide the students and their families to have and to take power over their lives. Another key principle is advocacy. I will work with the student and the parents to teach them to be problem solvers seek alliances, pinpoint and document problems, and find win-win ways to solve the problems. The keystone to building partnerships is trust. Without trust none of the other principles can stand. Trust holds a partnership together. I will be reliable, and use sound judgment when I make decisions. I will maintain confidentiality in the information that is provided to others. I will trust myself to make appropriate decisions, have confidence in my abilities, judgments, words, and actions. I will trust others in the team to make appropriate decisions that will benefit the student and the family.

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Toby
02/14/2012 11:01

I love your thoughts about working with students and families to "be problem solvers and seek alliances" because it is so important that we support others to stand on their own two feet when leave move on for us as educators. Trust and relationship building is a fundamental element in working inthis field. It's the only way that you can get the work of educating and supporting done.

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Joe
02/16/2012 12:52

Building trust with your student's parents is very important in being able to be a successful teacher. I think that if parents don't feel like they can trust their child's teacher then their needs will never be met. It is also very important to show trust in the other members of the team. This can be difficult at times if there are topics that team members disagree on but coming to a compromise and trusting that the team made the right decision is invaluable.

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Joe
02/13/2012 21:01

One of the most important aspects of building partnerships as a professional is to make yourself available to those that you are working with. Nothing builds a stronger bond than being there when someone needs help or guidance. Also it is a positive approach to try to make time in your schedule to meet face to face with those that you are working with. An email is so informal and communication (or intent) can be lost in only communicating by email. This can be very difficult to make work with all of the demands that are placed on professionals but going out of your way to show that you care can help ratify problems in the future. I have found that sitting in an IEP meeting and not knowing some of the people that are on the team can make the team as a whole not a cohesive.

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Toby
02/14/2012 11:04

Joe, this is a great reflection. It is so true that you need to be available to others, but remember that it is also crucial to take care of your own well being. Others reading this, do you have any thoughts about how much you, as a teacher, should be available to your students and parents? Would you give your home phone number? Would you drive stud ts places? How far would you go to create a supportive environment?

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Joe
02/13/2012 21:17

Norms of Collaboration Inventory Response

After completing the Norms of Collaboration Inventory I find that I certainly have room for improvement when it comes to bringing ideas to the table. As a new teacher I have felt that I do not want to stir things up or to be too confrontational during IEP meetings. This attitude is not always the best method when you are a team member. It can be difficult at times to find a happy medium during a meeting. I have found that as long as you have data to support any controversial ideas they will be well accepted. I am not saying that a professional should go into a meeting with the intent to disagree with everyone, but you should also feel comfortable about voicing your opinion.

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Toby
02/14/2012 11:06

Agreed! Data often speaks louder than general thoughts. It also takes emotion out of a tough decision. Just remember that you will need to respond to the emotional needs of the family as well. (remember the "Parenthood" clip). Good mediating, because that is what we do, requires a bit of both.

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Janis
02/13/2012 22:23

Joe:
Being available to those you work with is very important otherwise you don't know what is going on. I don't completely agree with your comment that nothing builds a stronger bond than being there when someone needs help or guidance. What about trust? You can be there but they must know they can trust you to provide the best guidance and help. If you haven't built a relationship of trust then being there won't be enough to get things done that will benefit the child or the family.

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Adam
02/15/2012 16:11

Adam Torrero
SPED 540
#5

How will you build partnerships as a professional? What do you think is the keystone to building the partnership?

First I must state that being a “professional” is more than just following procedure and policy. Being a professional means that that you are going to do the job to the best of your abilities, utilizing resources, creating trust, being of your word and most of all being honest. The last one is often deluded with jargon that allows one to tiptoe around being truly honest. In this profession often parents are coming to the schools and other resources in a search for aid in the positive development of their child with special needs. All too often do these so called professionals make statements and promises that they are unable to meet, by no fault other than they are proceeding ‘ideally’ instead of ‘realistically’.
It is my intention to create a dynamic where parents and the child involved are made aware as possible to the realities of the situation. I will not be the one to make deadlines, create unrealistic goals or promise anything outside of the realm that the child will not be able to attain. I feel that being honest and direct with people will create the most productive partnership. Some will like this approach and some will not. And those who do not will still benefit from it in a positive way in that they will not be put in a position to waste time or effort. They will have the opportunity to look for other avenues of aid if they feel that what I bring to them is not what they want instead of finding out down the road a year or two later.
They keystone to any partnership is the realization of a goal and its probabilities. Not all children will succeed in reaching the books desired four goals and honestly I kind of have to sit back and question that rational as well. “Thus, the ultimate goal of special education is the student’s achievement of the four goals” (p.137). This to me detrimental to the books legitimacy. In reality very few children with special needs will meet these goals and far less will the ones with severe disabilities. I would state that if you look at statistics, they would show that more children with disabilities are not self sufficient monetarily and often require assisted living. And here is the point, for a teacher to tell a parent of a special needs child (assuming the case involves a child with DD or PD ) that they will do ‘this’ or ‘that’ by some stated time frame is already creating a unproductive partnership. It’s our duty to do the best we can for these children and give them as many tools as possible but is also our duty to be honest and not mislead parents into thinking that we are the cure. I realize that this may sound pessimistic but I will not ever mislead someone into thinking that I can do more than the situation will allow for. There are realities that everyone has to face and the moment that all parties involved are aware of such and are willing to proceed, then a true partnership will be created.

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Toby
02/16/2012 12:04

Adam,

There is some truth to what you say, and yet there are the requirements of IDEA that specify how we proceed with developing a plan to meet the needs of the student. It is always crucial that you are upfront and realistic with what you and your school are able to provide your students. That being said, you will also have to have some responsibility and accountability for what you are planning to provide, and part of that is a timeline for how you will provide it. Does this mean it will always happen as you map it out? No, but it does mean that you and the school are making a good faith effort to make sure the needs of the student are met.

Parents want to know that you are available for their child, and that you believe that there are things you can provide to help their child. (This idea of hope). Honesty and truth are key aspects to this process, but so to is hope.

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Joe
02/16/2012 12:57

Being honest about the student's goals is something that a lot of professionals in the teaching field need to take a look at. Being unrealistic and coming up with goals that the child might not be able to attain is not only a detriment to the child, but to the parents as well.

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Janis
02/16/2012 19:44

Adam:
You have some good ideas. I don't agree with your statement about not making deadlines. IDEA mandates certain deadlines that must be followed. Even if you don't get the work done there is a certain time frame and procedures that must be followed. Being realistic is good but don't strip the parents and child of hope. Dreams are built on hope. Some may seem unrealistic now but you don't have a crystal ball to know what programs will open the door to success for a child. Build trust in the partnership, give them some hope to build dreams on, and find doors and programs that will open up their dreams.

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