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those sight words. How can we work together so he’ll learn those last words? Share what you’re doing to help Jason. Ask what mom is doing to help? What else might you both be doing? Focus on what’s happening now.

Cultivate Inner Silence The voice in your head is always telling you something. I’m sure you’ve heard it,“She forgot to close the door when she came in. Pink doesn’t look good on her. I wonder if we’ll be through with this before lunch. I’m getting hungry and there’s not much time …”The voice will go on and on. When you can create a silence, you can begin to hear the other person as well as what you are really thinking about the topic at hand. Although we won’t get that far in this article, the last step in this series is to listen deeply.You can’t listen to the other person or yourself if you are allowing the voice to speak. Jason needs the sight words as well as comprehension skills. What are the best ways to help Jason get those skills? You know the answer. Listen for it. Listen to yourself because the answer is in your awareness.The answer is in your understanding of Jason and of learners like Jason. Listen in the silence of your mind for the answer to help him. Share what you know with his mom.

hood of this being a pleasant meeting is probably going to be below basic, maybe far below basic. If I can focus on reasons why I like Jason and his mother the conversation will be much smoother. Thoughts like,“Jason’s really made progress this term. His reading fluency has increased tremendously. I’m so glad he’s in my class this year,” will make it easier to have a conversation with his mom. There are actually 12 steps to the Compassionate Communication model, but you can see just from the first four how a different look at communication might

affect your relationship with a parent, a staff member, or even a spouse. Communication as the definition states is really about exchanging information. How you exchange that information is as important as what you communicate. Consider communication with parents as you would a conversation with a friend where you are present, positive and participating. If you’ll look at communication as a two-way street, perhaps one going to the ball field and the library, you will see a tremendous change in your relationships with both parents and students. Dr. Joni Samples is the Chief Academic Officer for Family Friendly Schools, www. Dr. Joni provides workshops and materials for schools and parents to support a collaborative effort resulting in better, more supported learning for children. She is the author of six books on family engagement. Reference: 2012 *Newberg, Andrew and Waldman, Mark Robert, Words Can Change Your Brain, Hudson Street Press, New York, NY.


change begins with great


Increase Positivity I’ve had more than one person resist this one. I believe one of the responses was something like,“You mean I have to do that happy crap?”Yes, because it works. If I am thinking negative thoughts about anything and especially about the person I’m having a conversation with or her son, the likelihood of that conversation going well is not very high. If I’m aware of what’s right in this situation, what’s working, what can be done rather than what can’t be done, I’m going to get a better response. For example, if I’m thinking,“Jason is a real pain. I didn’t want him in my classroom in the first place, and now I have to deal with his mother,” the

Throughout my education, I was fortunate to have very supportive teachers, principals p at and professors. The people onde ful. Peabody have been wonderful. Greg Aikens, M.Ed. special education (visual disabilities)

Explore Our Difference SouthEast Education Network ™ FALL 2013


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Seen 15 2  

Southeast Education Network issue 15.2

Seen 15 2  

Southeast Education Network issue 15.2