- While visiting classrooms one day, you notice the same student not fully engaged in his/her learning. What do you do?
Now, I focused my answer around relationships. I mentioned I would check in with the student to see how things were going. I would try and create a mentor type relationship with the student to see if this disengagement was just temporary, or if it would be longer lasting. I would also make sure I would discuss the student with his/ her teachers to see if they noticed what I was seeing regarding this student.
In retrospect, I think I missed the second half of the answer to this question. While I do think my response was good, it only covered half (if that much) of the scenario. I should have included that after discussing the student with his/her teachers, I would have taken the next step(s) to make sure this child did not fall through the cracks. In my school, that would have been referring the student to our TRAC team.
This team is comprised of a member of our Special Ed department, a school counselor, and a couple of teachers. This team makes a call home and requests a meeting with both the parent and the disengaged student. This is an early opportunity for the school to make the connection with home that we are concerned with some recent behaviors or habits we are noticing. Being involved in several of these meetings, it is a great opportunity for the student to realize that we all are looking out for their best interest everyday. In addition, it is a great opportunity to make that positive connection with the home as well. Looking out for their child(ren) is always a great message to send.
Now, this TRAC referral requests a follow up meeting in a bout a month to see if the behavior or habits have been positively adjusted. If so, then there is no further action required from the committee. As an administrator, I would still keep that student on my "unofficial" list to check-in on frequently to make sure things are still going smoothly.
What happens if the slide did not stop? Then during the next meeting with the family, the committee could recommend a variety of things: a meeting with the child study team to see if testing is needed, a placement in our Basic Skills group if needed, and/or a chance to speak with a counselor if need be. The list could be longer depending on the student. We may also recommend several of these if it is required.
I think the part I missed in my earlier answer was the chance to show that I may not have all the answers and will use all of the resources at our disposal to help all of our students achieve their best. I believe I left my answer as too self-centered. I did not show my ability to be a team player enough in my response. When it comes to the success of our students, we must be willing to work with everyone to get them to be their best!!