A. Consider Perspectives and Contexts

Step 3 helped you consider general sources of evidence about effective communication practices. Now you will need to think about that general knowledge in light of Shawanda’s and Ashley’s unique situation. To help recall the context for this dilemma, review the perspectives shared as part of Step 1: Dilemma. The following perspectives will help you gain a better understanding of Shawanda’s and Ashley’s values and beliefs about this particular situation.

Audio 3.4: Shawanda’s perspective (teacher)

A teacher in a childcare program shares her perspective on collaborating with other professionals in her classroom (running time: 0 min., 53 sec.).

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Ashley is actually the third outside consultant that I have worked with in the last two years. Last year we received NAEYC accreditation and had a consultant help us prepare for that. We were also part of a special project where a literacy coach was assigned to my classroom to show me a new way of reading to the children. Like Ashley, the literacy coach had good ideas; but she really didn’t spend time trying to understand how I do things and how her ideas meshed with mine. I want to focus on the individual needs of each child but that is challenging when it has to be separate from what the rest of the group is doing. If I could get Ashley to see things more from my perspective, there should be ways to do what she wants me to do within the classroom routines. I just think it is important to be realistic about what one teacher can do especially when there are basic standards to uphold and a new curriculum to learn.

Audio 3.5: Ashley’s perspective (speech therapist)

A speech therapist shares her perspective on working with children in classroom settings and collaborating with the teachers and families (running time 0 min., 47 sec.).

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I am a firm believer in the importance of a team approach to interventions with children. If I’m not working collaboratively with the families and the other professionals in a child’s life, I am missing the boat. On the other hand, sometimes I get frustrated, especially when I see so many lost opportunities for learning for the children on my caseload. I feel like I explain and explain what to do as clearly as I can…it is frustrating not to be heard and to feel like interventions are not being carried out. It’s hard to go into someone else’s space once or twice a week and try to figure out how to incorporate an individual child’s plan into the structure and routines of that classroom. This is where I really need the teacher’s help and ideas to make sure it is reasonable.