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Parent Communication Template as a Tool to Demonstrate UDL Principals
The Executive Leadership Coaching cycle provided a solutions-oriented decision-making model for me to examine data, consider a problem of practice, and use tools that were new to me to create usable resources for teaching staff.
Using data from a parent survey and feedback from teachers, I identified vision, culture, and community and my priorities. One area of need was the level level of reciprocal communication between parents and teachers. Teachers identified time as their main obstacle. Parents, particularly in fifth and sixth grade, had a tough time with the cultural shift from elementary school, where their child was one of twenty on a teacher's roster, to where they were one of possibly 100 students that a teacher encountered each day.
While I had identified this as an area of need, I also wanted to find opportunities to demonstrate some of the basic tenets of Universal Design for Learning, a district-wide initiative that teachers had only just been exposed to. My coach Christine and I discussed how we could lighten the cognitive load for teachers by creating collaborative templates for teachers to use to share feedback about student progress. The templates are completely customizable and are option to use. My thinking is that by presenting this as an option, I'm illustrating the "action and expression" aspects of UDL and perhaps sparking ideas for teachers in their own classroom. This round of coaching helped me to create opportunities for instructional leadership through example. My next steps involve soliciting feedback about the usefulness of the tool and for suggestions of what other types of communication templates would be helpful.
I found it extremely valuable to have "Yes, and!" conversations with my coach Christine. Her guidance helped be land on a project that was pragmatic and based in the needs of my school.#generalmclane
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