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Teacher Interview with Kei Lucas

How do you work as a team with parents, administrators and other teachers?

I have the great fortune of working with two very, very capable women and we all get along. Luckily we have the same focus. We pretty much agree on, “Well I can stand it up to there, but when it gets to…” and, “You know what? Me too.” So there is kind of an agreement in terms of what we like seeing in the classroom or what we don’t like. The part that becomes really important is if we’re going to focus on a particular behavior or a particular issue for a student or the class, we all need to be doing and saying the same thing. During lunch, before school, after school, any where, at recess, anytime we can grab time, that’s when we will do the little collaborating. So it’s not just my job. Luckily I work with people who say, “It’s not just your job to be mindful of that.” We work with the kids, we work with each other, so it’s also our responsibility to do that. I think it is really important to get involved with the rest of the campus. You need to volunteer to be on committee’s. You need to volunteer to be a part of the PTA things that go on. You need to get yourself out there. A lot of times, at the beginning of the school year, special ed. staff will be out there to kind of eyeball the kids in your class. But this also gives you a chance to connect with the other kids who are on campus, which then leads to being able to connect with the other teachers who are on the staff, so you create your own network. You may be the only special ed. teacher on campus but you create your own family on that campus, so it’s up to you to do the extending; it’s up to you to make the initial overtures and to just keep throwing it out there, keep throwing it out there. Making offers to people, “Hey I found this stuff at the teacher store the other day and it’s great for first grade. Would you guys like to look at it? You’re welcome to use it anytime.” You’ve got to make the effort and in terms of administrators, I think what has worked best for me is to be able to say to an administrator, “This is what I need from you. What can you do to work with me in order to meet those needs? What do we need to do together so that when a student, when a parent, when a situation arises, how are we going to work towards solving those things?”

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