I was talking to my sister yesterday who, by the way, is a special education teacher. She was telling me that school duties have already been assigned for this upcoming school year. She said, “Guess what duty I was assigned?”
I thought for a while and guessed the lunchroom monitor. She said, “Oh, no. I got morning car duty and I am thrilled about it!” I began to wonder why anyone would be thrilled about knowing their school duties before school started.
What if the idea of having a plan beforehand is more important to us than we even imagine?
One of the most important things to plan for this next school year is how to set up your MTSS meeting schedule. We would all like 1,000% more energy so let’s see how to get that using a TIER FOCUSED GRADE LEVEL MEETING SCHEDULE.
3 Reasons Why You Need a Tier Focused Grade Level Meeting Schedule
People are wired for fairness. They want to know that everyone is working on MTSS in the same way. Every student in every tier deserves purposeful attention. If you don’t schedule a time for everyone, a few will absorb all your energy and resources, whether they are children or adults.
One of our biggest shortcomings in education is being OVER responsive. Another energy sapper. By setting the weekly focus, you can allocate resources (including yourself!) proactively instead of reactively. Support staff can’t be everywhere at once. Special Education teachers can’t meet with everyone on the same day. We need “spaces” for when interactions should happen. Avoid meetigs on the fly unless it is an absolute emergency. Discipline yourself to meet about problems in their proper places. (We should know who is saying what and when. That way, we can support the conversations we need to support at the right time in the right place with the right people.
People are also wired for survival. They do not thrive in disruptive environments. They resist change. predictability is an energy saver. It keeps people from having to think about what the heck they are supposed to do today. The more stable and predictable your infrastructure is, the more capacity your people will have to implement MTSS.
HOW TO MAKE A TIER FOCUSED GRADE LEVEL MEETING SCHEDULE
When making your grade level schedule, it helps to understand that EVERY meeting is an MTSS meeting. We should always be talking about how students are responding to instruction. Planning grade level meetings purposefully is a great way to build infrastructure and capacity so your MTSS implementation becomes and energy SAVER. Here is one way to do it:
Who Should Be There
Tier 1: Focus on family conferences and communication
Tier 2: Grade level team meetings with a coach to remove barriers to core
Tier 3 and Special Education: Grade level teams, family members, administration and specialists who can help interpret multiple sources of data and provide expertise for individualized plans.
WHAT TO DO IN WEEK 4
In Week 4 schedule time for innovation. Some examples of week 4 activities:
- Observe peers in other grade level classrooms
- Meet with another grade level
- Learn a new strategy
- Get organized or rearrange your space
- Invite a few students to your planning meeting