If you ever played a team sport you understand the importance of every member on the team and the different roles each coach plays. The ultimate goal of everyone involved is to win. However, the definition of winning can vary from person to person. Some may view the success of each play as a win and another person may wait until the end the season to celebrate the big win. For this blog I will like to focus my view of the small team of three or four. The team includes the student, parents and classroom director.
As a team, it is important we agree on the goals for success. This is the purpose of our “Goal Setting Conference.” Before this conference, the director is observing and working with the student during the work cycle. At this period she is discovering what the student is interested in learning as well as measuring the potential level of achievement the student may be able to reach before the end of the school year.
The parents are the first observers and teachers of their child. This is why we ask them to prepare a list of goals they believe their child is able to reach before the end of the school year. The students are given an opportunity to express their goals verbally or physically. That is why observation is so important. If the student is developmentally ready, we include in the conversation. Every person on the team is involved in creating the goals of success for the team and we all work together to reach them.
Goal setting is just one aspect for how a team reach for success. Communication and interaction strengthens the cohesion of the team. Throughout this school year we work with our students and document their progress. The parents and the director communicate often to make sure we are still on the same page with the goals. A good team has an on-going evaluation; therefore, another conference is planned midyear to review the initial goals and see if any changes need to be made. A good coach would always remind his team that the most important part of the process is to have fun. Our ultimate goal is always to make learning fun and help the student develop a lifelong love of learning.