One Sunflower

last day

on March 12, 2011

Wednesday was our last professional development session with David Matteson, a consultant who has been working with our school district.  The preschool teaching staff, Lead teachers and assistants, sat around a table and watched a lesson demonstration and then talked in-depth about the learning we’ve been involved in over the past three years.

All four classrooms are using teacher demonstration models and journal writing with their students.  The staff is focused on supporting fine motor skills and oral language development as primary goals in the preschool curriculum.  But we are still seeking clarity in the work and it was good to be at the table together with David and administrators to ask questions and seek answers together.

The teachers could not have done this work without the support of their assistants so the fact that they have been a part of the professional development is significant.  But this year we had less time together than the last year and I worry about the prospects for next year.

It is the aides who ride the buses and gain insight into the lives of our students so we can develop stories together that will be meaningful.  Our aides also confer with student writers, we divide our caseload between the staff and could never provide weekly individual instruction without them.  They need to be just as competent in supporting skill development as the Lead teachers.  I don’t think the trickle-down theory of training is going to be successful over time.  Yes, I can receive training and train my aide but I think the reason this program was successful in these past few years was because we were all at the table from the beginning.


2 responses to “last day

  1. Ruth says:

    Your last line is powerful. I wonder how many snags could be solved if “we were all at the table from the beginning.”

  2. Diana Martin says:

    I agree that a shared vision makes all the difference. It sounds like the success you are having with your students is related to your knowledge of your kids and your ability to respond to their individual needs. Your students are very lucky to have you and your excellent assistants.

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