One of the aspects of this rotation I have enjoyed most is watching the conversations between learning specialist, teachers, and the administration. Each party is supportive of the others and everyone is working with the students’ needs in mind. During one meeting in particular, each of the learning specialists were asked what do you need and how do you feel about this? It was apparent that each specialist was appreciated for the hard work that he or she does and the administration felt the specialists were capable of bringing students’ scores up. This later trickled down to the learning specialists asking the students during their intervention, what do you need to learn more and how do you feel about where you are at? Whether the administration knew it or not, it was the original, authentic concern that set the tone for the specialists to ensure that the students, too, felt valued and capable of excelling.
I believe collaborative grouping is essential to classroom success and have very much enjoyed working closely with those who implement small group lessons daily. Meeting the needs of each and every student is nearly impossible during a whole group lesson. I feel that when done correctly, small groups/centers can be beneficial to students at any age and any skill level. However, for small groups to be functional, the teacher must be intentional and strategic about grouping and the task assigned. Collaborative grouping is one of many areas I hope to become more proficient in through my work at the Martin Institute. I look forward to learning more about how to analyze data to ensure the students’ needs are correctly identified and hope to collaborate with many more teachers to learn about how they use small groups in their classrooms. Above all else, I look forward to asking my students, what do you need?