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Published by: ssgwill1 on Jan 14, 2013
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Running head: FOCUS GROUP REFLECTION PAPER 1Effective & Reciprocal School, Family, and Community CollaborationRichard WilliamsEDL53110 January 2013Byron Green
FOCUS GROUP REFLECTION PAPER 2Focus Group Reflection Paper It takes a village to raise a child is a century old proverb. This saying is used regularlythroughout the educational world to define partnerships in a child’s education. The problem withthis saying is how people have misinterpreted it. The saying was meant to include decisionmaking by everyone within the village. The village includes all stakeholders involved ineducating the child. In America, public schools have difficulties in collaborating and sharingdecision making with families, and community partnerships. Effective reciprocal collaboration between school, family, and community partnerships are beneficial to student academic success.The purpose of this paper is to identify areas to create more effective reciprocal school,family, and community partnerships. The barriers that exist in public school collaboration havedisempowered and stifled children’s educational, emotional growth. For example, lowexpectation, underrepresented communities along with historical and contemporary factors prevent schools from bridging the gaps between families and community partners.The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the perceptions that two teachers shared during afocus group interview in which the topic was Instructional Coaches or ICs. The setting for theinterview was a safe place where the teachers were allowed to speak candidly (Knight, 2008).There were five questions presented for both teachers. Each teacher demonstrated differentlevels of experience and assumptions about coaches. Most teachers have different views andexpectations of services that ICs actually provide. Of course, their assumptions are usually basedon their background with ICs. The structure of this paper is organized in the order of thequestions presented.What is your perception of mentor/coaching? Both teachers were fairly close in their  perceptions of ICs. Teacher A, expected that the IC would give constructive feedback in her 
FOCUS GROUP REFLECTION PAPER 3teaching. Teacher B, expected the same and to be provided with different types of approaches toimprove her teaching. Both were correct in their assumptions of ICs. It is probably safe toassume that both teachers would benefit from dialogue that allows IC and teacher to collaboratetogether as partners in improving teaching practices (Knight, 2008).What five words would you use to describe an effective coach/mentor? Teacher A listed; partner, stakeholder, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and helpful. Teacher B listed; supportive,expert, helpful, consistent, and encouraging. Clearly we can understand that the words listed for  both are closely tied to ICs. According to Knight, ICs are successful when they have establisheda partnership of mutual respect that includes trust. Teachers have specific ideas of what it meansto be a partner who is supportive, encouraging, and invested in their success (Knight, 2008).What do you feel a mentor/coach should be expected to do? Teacher A expected an IC toaddress any areas of weakness by observing and collecting data. Teacher B had a similar view;observe lessons, model lessons, and conferences. The assumptions were correct. ICs typicallyobserve and collect data before identifying teaching practices (Knight, 2008). After the data iscollected the IC will encourage the teacher being coached to, “agree on identifying next stepsthat have the most positive impact on their teaching (Knight, 2008).”At this point in your career, are you interested in having a mentor/coach? If so, whatareas would you like support in? Teacher A said,
“I am always interested in making myteaching better and receiving feedback. As far as areas that I would like support in, I am not  sure at this time. As the year progresses, I would better be able to answer that!
This teacher is better served when feedback includes what she is doing well. The practice of “
feedback is a skill that Knight says that all ICs should develop (Knight, 2008).

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