A couple years ago, as a lead special education teacher, I was ask to develop training on the intervention process for the entire teaching staff. Our administrator and the special education team members realized that the general education teacher lacked an understanding of the intervention process and how it leads to eligibility and possibly special education services. Teacher needed to understand that students that are under performing in the classroom and are referred for intervention are not guaranteed eligible for special education services. Teacher did not understand that it was their responsibility to deliver differentiated tier one instruction with fidelity, while collecting data to show the lack of progress prior to referral. Once a referral was make they thought that meant automatic special education services.
I remember thinking this would easy and that the one week deadline was plenty of time complete the work. I considered myself an expert in the area and that I had all the information they needed to know. I began the project with a brief meeting with the special education team of three teachers, and decided that we would deliver the training together in one day during each grade level planning. We decided to use information from the intervention and special education manual. We also decided to use a projected PowerPoint to deliver the training. I volunteered to put the PowerPoint together and we agreed to spit the slides evenly for delivery. I worked on the power-point on my personal computer at home and included a video to show an example of an ineffective intervention meeting. Graphics and charts, music and quotes were included. Whew! I was pretty proud of the finished deliverable. The night before training the PowerPoint was sent out to the team for final approval and all was well. We were confident.
Learner Objectives: teacher will learn…
- The intervention and eligibility process from start to finish
- How to complete forms
- Who to contact for help
- What is their responsibility through the process and in the classroom
- What is the special education teachers’ responsibility throughout the process and in the classroom
- What is the administrators responsibilities
Project Objectives: deliver training to…
- Improve teachers’ understanding of the intervention and eligibility process
- Help teacher understand their role and responsibilities before referral
- Help teachers understand their role through the process
- Help teacher learn the forms and navigate their way throughout the process
The conference room was setup with a projector. I arrived early and attached my laptop to the projector. Then the problems began. The projector was not compatible with the laptop, so I scrambled to move the PowerPoint to another school computer, but lost some of the formatting and graphics. Apparently Windows 8 and 7 are not so compatible after all. The frustration could have been avoided with a test run before training day. During the first two groups, things were a little shaky. As we took turns to deliver our part of the the slides we realized that we needed to practice the presentation together, and we discovered how much more information the teachers needed based on their questions. Teachers needed more information than we anticipated. We found that we were unprepared for some of the questions and needed some help from administration to answer them.
What went well
The teachers were unaware of the difficulties and glitches. They seemed to enjoy the presentation and were engage throughout the whole process. The presentation sparked discussions and many questions. The PowerPoint was uploaded to a shared file for later use and for on- going training. Administration was satisfied with the training and wanted to repeat yearly for new teacher. The projects was successful because the content was relevant, and information was generated from credible sources. There was no cost and the project was delivered on time.
Improving the Project
Although the turnaround time was limited, the project would have benefited from a needs analysis (project management phase 1). Interviews with the teachers and administration would have given us a better idea of additional information that might be needed and prepare us to address questions. A project plan (Phase 2) might have alerted us of problems that could occur and assist us in delineating and communicating team members’ roles and responsibilities clearly. Certainly phase 5, a test of the facilities and equipment would have assured the proper function of the laptop and the projector on training day. Lastly, project evaluation data would have been beneficial for improvement for future training (Greer, M. (2010).
Greer, M. (2010). The Project Management Minimalist: Just Enough PM to Rock Your Projects! Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201520_04/MS_INDT/EDUC_6145/Week%202/Resources/Week%202%20Resources/embedded/pm-minimalist-ver-3-laureate.pdf