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  • Writer's pictureChrista Preston

The second day of training

We are making progress! Today we moved from “goals” to “present levels” then back again. The wonders of the IEP world. We were incredible lucky today. A hunt for an estimate for a new bus revealed a file of each student including information on strengths, disability details and strategy suggestions. So we were able to give each teacher a student profile to start with. Perfect as most have never met these students before. At least they aren’t going in blind.

(Think about this for a second. Eight of these teachers have never worked with children with intellectual disabilities before. On Monday they will be thrown into the whirlwind of the special needs classroom. It will be an interesting day. Needless to say we would be lost without this training. Now back to the story!)

Using the student profiles the teachers put together “present level” statements. Then using those statements to make goals. We are finding the best technique for the training is a recipe of a pinch of lecture (in our best Ugandan English) followed by splash of group examples, then a heafty dose of individual activities (on the board and at their desks). Plus many stories of actual experiences were shared, which led to some excellent questions on teaching technique. This is very different than teaching style tradition in Uganda (lecture and copy notes from the board). We are pushing the teachers to practically apply the knowledge and thing outside the box, both key for great teaching.

It has been only two days, and there is one day left, but we are addressing information typically covered in a full college term. To ensure the information is sticking and answer any questions I am staying on a few more week. Between all of us we have the very ambitious goal to write IEPs for over 60 children. Wish us luck!

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