15 Apr Provide an analysis of the outcomes of the professional development and implementation of practices on positive student performance. 2-3 pages include citation FosteringaCultureo
Provide an analysis of the outcomes of the professional development and implementation of practices on positive student performance.
- 2-3 pages
- include citation
Component I: Description of how a small group of teachers and paraprofessionals that
would benefit from working as a team to improve practice were selected.
Hawkins & McMahon (2020) quoted these lines from Charles Handy’s book,
Understanding Organizations: “In all organizations there are individuals and groups competing
for influence or resources, there are differences of opinion and of values, conflicts of priorities
and of goals. There are pressure groups and lobbies, cliques and cabals, rivalries and contests,
clashes of personality and bonds of alliance.” Charles Handy perfectly describes the kind of
culture that currently exists among the group of teachers and paraeducators in the Life Skills
program at Hanford High School.
In less than two months of school, four of the nine paraeducators providing support to
teachers and students in the Life Skills classrooms reported experiencing emotional stress from
conflicts about expectations, power struggles within the group, and differences of opinion about
group goals, roles, and procedures. Teachers having conflicting opinions, values, and priorities
cause miscommunication and conflicts as well. I did not have to look that far; I know major
changes need to be made in my own department.
As shapers of organizational culture, leaders are responsible for shifting cultural patterns
as challenging it may be (Hawkins & McMahon, 2020, p. 127). As an instructional leader, I take
the responsibility of establishing and maintaining a collaborative learning environment for my
own team by building interpersonal relationships and designing opportunities for teachers and
paraeducators to effectively collaborate to improve practice and to better serve the students in
our classrooms as we play significant roles in preparing them for post-secondary life.
Hawkins, P., & McMahon, A. (2020). Supervision in the Helping Professions (5th ed.).
McGraw-Hill Education. https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780335248353/
A detailed summary of the process working through the professional development with
the small group of teachers and paraeducators. The summary includes feedback from
the group members on improving practice in working with small groups.
For this school year, as the Life Skills team lead at Hanford High School, one of my main
goals is to forge interpersonal relationships and improve instruction and delivery of services
through designing meaningful professional development (PD) opportunities and sustainable
structures to cultivate collaborative learning culture. At the beginning of the school year on our
very first PLC session, my team of teachers and paraeducators discussed the common
problems all Life Skills classrooms face in our school. Prior to the meeting, I sent out a survey
to determine their concerns, needs, and topics that we should be focusing on for our PD
training. Based on their feedback, we were able to determine the majority’s concern of how out
of sync teachers and paraeducators are in dealing with student behaviors which is almost
always the root cause of conflict among adults. They pointed out that these conflicts usually
arise when one adult approaches or intervenes in a situation that differs with the other adult in
the classroom. Another concern that was brought up by the teachers was the inadequate
transition services and support provided to students and their families by the district. I shared
the data and information I collected with the team and we used it to create our PD calendar for
the year. To ensure full attendance and participation, we agreed to dedicate the first Friday of
every month for PD during PLC hour.
Planning for September PD, I collaborated with our district’s occupational therapists and
psychologists for a Sensory Integration Training. Sensory integration strategies are for people
who have sensory processing difficulties or difficulties understanding sensory input which our
students with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, or developmental delays have a hard time
dealing with everyday. We, the presenters, received a positive response from the team. One
prevalent feedback I received from my team was that understanding student behaviors and how
to address each of our student’s sensory needs should always be our first order of business in
order to be successful in teaching our students. According to one team member, being able to
understand, create, and successfully implement a sensory diet, helps his student feel calm,
ready to learn, and in control of his body. Moreover, the paraeducators requested to have
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI) training specific for students with severe behavior disorders.
For the month of October, I focused on connecting all the life skills teachers in the district
to gain knowledge of the different transition services in our community. One major setback was
getting full participation from all members. To resolve this, I sent out a survey of preferred PLC
day and time and frequency. We decided on meeting via Zoom bi-weekly from 7:00 am – 8am.
Three of the successful outcomes for this PD opportunity were that we were able to do a tour of
the two major adult day care programs in the Tri-Cities, attend a Transition Symposium and Fair
for Students with Disabilities and their Families in Yakima, and partnered with local agencies to
hold a District Parent Transition Information Night for all our students’ families. We had a good
turn out with about 20 families attending the event. They left with so much information and were
very appreciative to be given this opportunity to help plan for their student’s future. During our
performance review, the Life Skills teachers reported that they need more community
connection to open more“hands on” or practical learning experiences for our students. Some of
the suggestions that were offered were getting district administrators more involved and holding
a region wide transition event similar to that in Yakima.
For the months of November and December, teachers and paraeducators remotely
attended Inclusionary Practices Training via Zoom. Every year, the RSD partners with the
Benton Franklin Counties Special Education PTA to provide free professional development
opportunities focused around Understanding & Supporting Students With Autism & ADHD. The
main presenters included experts from Caravel Autism, Center of Excellence (COE) at Tri Cities
Community Health, and at the Arc of Tri Cities. Guest experts also joined these speakers. All
workshops are provided on the first Monday of the month. After the training, I met with my team
and brainstormed about what they have learned and what strategies they can implement in their
classrooms. One of the feedback I received was having the training in-person would be more
beneficial and getting an expert on campus would be a plus. Due to financial constraints, this
can be very challenging.
For January, I put together a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI) review training for the
Life Skills teachers and staff focusing on prevention, de-escalation, personal safety, and
physical intervention for specific students in our classrooms. This was actually
requested by one of our new paraeducators who was having difficulty handling his 1:1
student with violent and aggressive tendencies.
For the months of March and April, I worked with our SLP and invited our district’s
Assistive Technology specialist to conduct AAC training to teach our teachers and staff to use
AAC devices and programs with our students with communication needs.
Since we started this year, significant changes have been observed in our Life Skills
classrooms. Teachers and paraeducators are more in sync. Collaborative practices are more
evident. And most importantly, student behavior strategies seem to be working effectively as the
adults are working together. More doors have also opened for our students and families
needing support as their transition to post-secondary life.
Being in a leadership role, I feel responsible for making sure that I am able to provide not
only the needs of the students we serve but also of my team. As I continue to plan, create, and
implement meaningful professional development opportunities for teachers and staff in my team,
I am finding myself growing as well. The positive and negative feedback I receive from them
allow me to improve not just professionally but personally as well.
Provide an analysis of the outcomes of the professional development and
implementation of practices on positive student performance.
– 2-3 pages
– include citation
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