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Running head: CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

Consultation Field Experience


Cassie Wolf
Kansas State University

Consultation Field Experience

CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

For this assignment I met with a student teacher from Kansas State University. She is
currently working with fifth graders at Northview Elementary. As a para at the school I have
spent a sometime in her classroom and have noticed her getting frustrated with the behavior of
the students in the classroom. When I told her I would like to consult with her for this project she
brought up some of the things I had noticed and asked for help with classroom management.
With both of is being students I thought that this experience would benefit us both. I hope that I
gave her some strategies that she will eventually incorporate into her own classroom someday.
After meeting with the student teacher I got the chance to hear more about the issues she
has been having in her classroom and what goals she had for this consultation. Generally she
spoke about trouble keeping order in the classroom. When she use call and response techniques
to quiet the room they did not work or the student began talking shortly after. She stated that
students would talk while she or other students were speaking to the class. They were often out
of their seats at inappropriate times and were going to the other side of the classroom to talk to
someone else in the class when they should have been working or paying attention to the teacher.
She admitted that the students may not have clear expectations for their classroom behavior.
As a student teacher I think there is some limitation to how much she can do in this
situation. Her position as a student teacher makes it difficult to implement certain strategies
because she has not been with these students since the beginning of the year. From personal
observation the structure of the classroom has been limited and this is something that is out of
the control of the student teacher. We discussed some of the things that seem to work well and
things that did not in order to come up with some solutions that would work for her in this
classroom. I wanted to find ways to work with this issue and find the best solutions to help her

CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

feel like she has a little more control over the classroom by focusing on what was working
already.
Solution-Focused Consultee Centered Consultation
The model of consultation I choose to use with this student teacher was solution-focused
consultee centered consultations (SFCC). This model focuses on improving the consultees skills,
information, and ability to deal with the client group (Brown, 2011). I liked this model because
it is focused more on helping the client gain the skills they need in order to meet there goals. I
thought that in this situation that would be more beneficial than putting the focus on the client in
the situation. Not only does this consultee have many clients that she wanted impact during this
consultation but she also has a limited amount of time with them. Building her skills and
knowledge of classroom management would help her in her current situation as well as in her
future as a teacher. Through the solution-focused stages of relationship development, problem
description and perceptive changing, Goal formulation and scaling, and finding a solution I
believe this consultation will have a positive impact on the students classroom experience under
the instruction of this student teacher.
Relationship Development
Development of the consultant/consultee relationship began a good amount of time
before we met to discuss classroom management. Solution-focused consultation does not put a
lot of attention on building the relationship, however there must be some compatibility and
understanding felt by the consultee. I have spent some time as a para working in the consultees
classroom and have slowly built a professional relationship in which we could feel comfortable
talking with each other about problems in the classroom. Being able to observe her working in
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CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

that class ahead of time was very helpful in being able to create understanding. When she spoke
of specific situations that frustrated her I was able to identify with them and provide my own
point of view. Even though there is not a lot about specific techniques to building your
consultation relationship in this model I believe that it is very important to have a least had a
positive interaction with the consultee and have a basic understanding of them as a professional
and as a person.
Problem Description and Perceptive Changing
In SFCC identifying the problem is as simple as asking the consultee what you can do for
them. When I first met with the student teacher I asked them something similar to this question.
At this point we had provided a description of the problem. This provided me, as a counselor,
with a general idea of the problem and what we would be discussing during out session. We then
went on to discuss the specific areas in which the student teacher wanted to address. During this
time I asked her about things that she felt were working. This switches her perspective of
looking at what was not working to focusing on what was already working in her classroom in
order to improve her classroom management.
After this first meeting I provided the student teacher as well as her collaborating teacher
with and assessment addressing different areas of classroom management. While meeting with
my consultee she noted many different areas in which she would like to improve in the
classroom. By comparing the student teachers classroom management assessment to the one
filled out by the collaborating teacher I was able to identify areas that stood out to both teachers
in order to pinpoint a more specific area for improvement. Using these test I decided the best
areas to focus on for this session would be how the student teacher responded to both positive

CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

and negative behavior. While doing this I also kept in mind that the student teacher still had the
freedom to take this focus of this session in any direction she preferred. SFCC notes the
importance of prioritizing problems in order to choose just one of the greatest importance to both
the consultee and the consultant.
Goal Formulation and Scaling
A strategy used in SFCC is the miracle question. This involves asking the consultee how
things would be if the problem didnt exist. The goal of the miracle question is to change the
perspective of the consultee as well as setting the stage for goal setting (Brown, 2011).
When the consultee envisions the classroom without the problem they then have a clear goal to
reach. This is also a good strategy to use in order to speak of the need for change in a positive
manner. Instead of identifying what is not working the goal would be to identify what they need
to do to reach their goal. I believe this a very beneficial way to promote change that doesnt leave
the teacher feeling like a failure. Instead it gives them something that they can work towards that
will improve their lives and the lives of their students.
Another strategy in SFCC is called scaling. It is important for both the consultant and
consultee understand that the problem is not going to completely go away. Scaling is a way to
show the progress that has been made throughout the process. Using a 1-10 scale the consultee
can rate there problem at the beginning of the session and throughout the process in order to note
the changes that are taking place. I believe this is important in keeping the teacher motivated.
Knowing that there are going to be relapses in the process but still being able to see the overall
progress will provide a reason to keep working toward the ultimate goal.
Finding a Solution
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When finding the solution using SFCC some important questions you might ask are
What have you done to solve this problem?, What happened when you attempted to deal with
the problem?, and What did you learn when you attempted to solve the problem?(Brown,
2011). These questions help the consultee use their experience in order to come up with a
solution. They will look at what they were doing when things went well, what they have tried
that did not work, and examine how they have solved problems in the past.
During my consultation session I asked questions similar to this such as What is going
well in you classroom?, What hasnt gone well?, and What are some times when the students
seem to be on task and following directions?. These questions are all a part of figuring what
works and what does not. The consultee may already have some strategies that work that they
can apply to this new problem or they may have some that just need some tweaking. With my
consultee she had some ideas about what she would like to change and had already put
something into place that she had seen some results from. She had found a way to reward
positive behavior which was something that we felt was important. By looking at the results of
what she had already done we were able to work from there to develop more solutions.
Classroom Management: Self-Assessment
The assessment I chose to use was a classroom management self-assessment developed
by The University of Connecticut (Simonsen et al, 2006). This assessment addresses different
areas of skills a teacher might possess that have to do with classroom management. It covered
some basic areas of classroom management. An example item from the assessment was I have
posted, taught, reviewed, and reinforced 3-5 positively stated expectations. The person taking
the assessment would then respond by circling yes or no. This assessment also included a

CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

section where you could track positive interactions and negative interactions with the students. I
did not get a chance to fill out this portion of the assessment, though I believe it would have been
very helpful in our discussion. Sometimes teachers are not aware that the majority of their
responses to student are scolding or ordering rather than pointing out something positive.
After the first meeting with my consultee she had many areas of classroom management
that she wanted to improve. I gave this assessment to both the student teacher and her
collaborating teacher. The collaborating teacher was to fill it out in reference to the student
teacher. The idea was that I could identify areas in which both identified as areas to improve in
order to narrow the focus of our consultation. I took the items that both teachers circled no on
and used areas of classroom management to find solutions to. For the most part they answered
similarly on the assessment which meant the both had noticed some of the same things in the
student teachers interactions with the class. This gave me a good place to get started.
Another thing this assessment did was make the student teacher more aware of some of
the skills she could work on that might benefit the classroom climate. It was eye opening to look
at these items and really think about how the teacher interacts with students and how they see
these items making a difference. It was a good chance to connect how the students behave to the
way you lead the classroom. These skills are things that I will get more knowledgeable about as
a counselor in order to help teachers when they come to me with issues. Although I also had a
chance to observe in this classroom, the assessment was helpful in finding the source of these
observations.
Reflection

CONSULTATION FIELD EXPERIENCE

Through this process I have learned a lot about consultation in a school environment.
What I first noticed was that I do not feel very knowledgeable about some of the issues that may
be brought to me by teachers and others. This is something that I will only get better at with
experience. What I think is important to remember is that I am not expected to just have the
solution at hand. It is the process of listening to what the consultee has to say and bouncing
ideas off of each other that makes consultation successful.
When it comes to the consultant and consultee relationship Ive noticed the importance of
building a good relationship in order to get the most of the consultation. I had the opportunity to
work with my consultee beforehand. Our previous interactions were positive and made the
process of consultation much more beneficial to the both of us. This project has made me aware
of how important it will be to reach out and be friendly to the teachers and staff that I will be
working with someday. This will open communication will ultimately benefit the students.

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Resources

Brown, D. (2011). Psychological Consultation and Collaboration: Introduction to Theory and


Practice (7th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice
Hall.
Simonsen, B, Fairbanks, S, Briesch, A, & Sugai, G. (2006). Classroom Management: SelfAssessment. Retrieved from: http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu/MTSS_Classroom_Guide/Folder
%202.%20Overview/File%20E%20Classroom%20Management%20Self-Assessment
%20Revised.pdf