The members of the San Antonio Area Special Education Directors’ Conference (SAASD) group meets each year at the close of school to set future goals, learn new skills, and to prepare for the next school year. Through a collaborative process, the SAASD decided on two objectives for the May 2011 meeting and invited Dr. Frances Stetson, President, Stetson & Associates, Inc., to facilitate their discussion and learning. Here are several of the resources used throughout the meeting.
Learn and practice the Consultancy Process to use throughout the 2011-12 school year to support collaborative problem solving. Two member directors volunteered to create a written Consultancy Dilemma to share with the group in order to practice this creative process.
The two dilemmas the group chose are:
- Dilemma #1: How do we gain buy-in from campus administrators in making appropriate, student-centered state assessment decisions (when accountability pressures are counter to increasing special education student participation in more rigorous testing)?
- Dilemma #2: How do we maintain and even increase our gains toward inclusive education in light of recent and future staffing cuts in both general and special education (in which some view traditional ‘pull out settings’ as less costly)?
Complete a Book Study of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book by Don Miguel Ruiz is a wonderful option for group book studies, particularly for members of formal or informal teams in education. The Four Agreements discussed in the book are powerful for all educators and include: 1) Use your word impeccably, 2) Don’t take things personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best. Think of the fascinating discussions these four simple, yet challenging, agreements stimulate!
Agreement Team Assignment
Read the chapter that you have been assigned. Work with your team to prepare a 10-15 minute presentation to the group. Please address:
• Major concepts related to your agreement
• General ways in which these concepts relate to the role of educators
• Specific applications to your district team (relationships within the team)
• Specific applications in working with other departments in your district
• Three major priorities as you view them in fulfilling the agreement in the coming school year
Full Group Discussion
After each Agreement Team completes its presentation, discuss the content by seeking clarification of major concepts and application of the concepts to the team as a whole.
For personal closure, allow time for reflection and journaling.