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Sean Rogers

EPSY 3110
April 5, 2016
Team Meeting Assignment

1. During placement at Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford, CT, I attended
a PPT for a female freshman student with emotional disturbance. Due to recent
issues managing her anger, a PPT was set up by my teacher, the team leader, in
order to establish an IEP to track and respond to her behavior.
2. A special education teacher, the general education teachers of the school’s
wing/team, the school psychologist, the vice principal, the grandmother of the
student, the student, and I all attended the PPT. Each of the general education
teachers that attended came with portfolios collecting the student’s recent
assignments, grades, as well as documentation of any time in which the student
acted out during class. When discussing the behavior of the student towards
authority figures, each general education teacher spoke about their experiences and
what they would like to do in order to help assure the student is comfortable in the
classroom. The special education teacher did not play as active as a role as the
general education teachers but she came with documents regarding her own
experiences with the student including when and how she acted out behaviorally.
The school psychologist was extremely helpful in the PPT and often helped provide
the most structure to the overall meeting. As she had met with the student many
times before, the school psychologist was able to bring up many of the issues that
her and the student had discussed in the class and how they could modify the
classroom setting to help her emotionally. When the grandmother of the student
opened up to the school psychologist about the immense difficulty she has not only
raising the student but also the student’s older brother who had recently gotten into
trouble with the law, the school psychologist reached out to her and informed her of
the many services available to help her and her family out. This moment in which
the school psychologist genuinely attempted to help the grandmother who had tried
so hard to raise these two kids was extremely touching and remains the part of the
meeting that stayed with me the most. While the Vice Principal did not do much in
terms of helping write the IEP and establish expectations for the next few weeks, he
helped facilitate the meeting. Although his involvement in the PPT was minimal, he
helped greet the grandmother at the front of the school as well as walk her out at
the end of meeting which was a very thoughtful notion. The grandmother of the
student was very quiet when she first got to the meeting. She was notably
uncomfortable and seemed a little ashamed that she had to have a group of
educators talk to her about her granddaughter’s behavior. After listening to the
general education teachers discuss the student’s performance and behavior, the
grandmother opened up and vented about the recent behavior issues at home and
the difficulties she faces raising the her grandchildren. As she opened up about the
problems that continue on outside of the classroom, the school psychologist took a
central role in discussing the student’s behavior and strategies that could be taken
to help her both at school and at home. The student also attended the meeting
although it was pretty apparent that she did not want to be there. While a circle full
of adults recounting her recent misbehavior is no doubt an uncomfortable situation,
the student often attempted to ignore any questions that were asked to her and
avoid eye contact with anyone. While she ultimately agreed to the IEP drafted to
monitor her behavior and thanked them for the system of supports they had set up
for her, she sat through the meeting with little interaction with the adults that were
there to help her. Finally, I attended the meeting and did not bring anything with me
besides a notebook and pencil to record my observations. At the beginning of the
meeting, the vice principal asked me to introduce myself so that the grandmother
was aware of who everyone in the room was. Stating my name and my status as an
intern was the extent of my interaction with the meeting.
3. The main reason of this PPT was to discuss the recent outbreaks in behavior coming
from the student. While the student’s issue with managing anger had been apparent
when dealing with the staff of the team all year, she had recently begun acting out
towards other students. Due to a recent altercation with another student during
math class, the student received in an in-school suspension. This suspension
coupled with the student’s failure to turn in assignments that greatly affect her
grade prompted a meeting in which the various school staff could meet with the
student’s guardian and discuss strategies to help the student’s comfort in the
classroom as well as establish a system for dealing with her emotional outbreaks
before they lead to problems within the classroom. Discussing the circumstances
that these emotional outbreaks occur under, the group attempted to establish goals
for the student to meet in the next month as well a way for the student to
appropriately communicate with the staff about how she is feeling throughout the
school day. This system of talking to the staff was headed by one of the female
English teachers who the student responded to the best. Because of their positive
relationship, the general education English teacher reached out to the student and
agreed about times of the day in which the two could discuss how the student was
feeling and any support she might need in order to help her get through the school
day. To record the student’s behavior over the following weeks, the school
psychologist created an organizer and shared it with all of the student’s teachers. On
this organizer, there was a space for each teacher to write their observations for the
student and record positive and negative aspects of their behavior towards both
staff and students. With organizer as well as a system for comfortable
communication with a staff member, the student’s progress could be easily tracked.
While not the primary objective of the meeting, the teachers also discussed the
student’s recent academic performance. Although her emotional behavior often
affected her ability to get done work, her completion of homework was very low in
almost every class. This discussion of completion of work at home led to a
discussion about how the student is often not home and that her grandmother often
doesn’t know what she is out doing that is keeping her from her homework. This
sparked many of the teachers inquiring about the student’s whereabouts after
school hours. While she claimed to just be hanging out the park with her friends, the
school psychologist seemed very concerned and spoke to the student about the
issues of safety she may face staying out so late with no one knowing where she is.
While the meeting was initially meant as a time to discuss her recent behavioral
issues in the classroom, issues extending far beyond the classroom setting were
brought up sparking a larger discussion about the student’s actions.
4. I was very surprised to observe the ways in which the various members of the
meeting collaborated and how open the different parties were to helping establish a
better atmosphere for the student at both home and school. When discussing the
issue of homework completion, the general education teachers collaborated with
the grandmother of the student to develop a system of communication regarding
assignments for the student. The teachers were responsible of sending the
grandmother an email a week describing the assignments the student is responsible
for completing at home and on which day they were do. This gives the grandmother
a way of knowing what assignments the student has to be doing so that she can
remind the student to complete them instead of her hanging out with her friends.
With this collaborative system of communication between the two parties, the
student’s homework completion should hopefully improve. Another source of
collaboration was between the school psychologist and the grandmother. After
discussing the issues the grandmother was dealing with in terms of raising her
grandchildren, the school psychologist wrote done a list of services the
grandmother could utilize to help control her household. Not only did the school
psychologist give the grandmother these helpful contacts, but also the two parties
signed a form saying that the school psychologist could share information regarding
the student to these services to establish a more well informed and helpful network
designed to maintain a comfortable school and home environment.
5. Attending this PPT helped me appreciate the various roles of educators and how
their collaboration can be wielded to create a system of support for one student who
was struggling emotionally and behaviorally in school. Watching as the different
members of the school staffed used their various specialties to look at an issue from
different angles, I learned the value of having the variety of staff at the meeting and
why this assortment is legally required. I also got to see staff members brainstorm
accommodations and how these slight changes might be utilized in order to help
foster a healthier classroom environment for the student. This involved letting her
choose her seating in math class so that she is not near the students who distract
and bother her. This slight accommodation regarding seating will hopefully prevent
the outbreak of another incident between the student and her peers in future
classes. While these lessons helped demonstrate aspects of what we have talked
about in class, the meeting demonstrated important lessons that I will be sure to
take with me into my future as an educator. The grandmother’s perspective on the
issue helped taught me that the issues seen in the classroom often extend outside of
the classroom and help create problems at home. When teachers and family meet,
creating a comfortable and appropriate network of communication can help
alleviate these issues not only within the classroom but at home. With this in mind,
establishing positive ties with student’s family will be something I strive to do in my
career. The team meeting also showed me the importance of keeping records as a
general education teacher. It is difficult as a teacher to look a student’s guardian in
the face and tell them that the student has been behaving in a manner that is less
than adequate. However, if each teacher has well documented each incident
carefully, displaying the student’s behavior issues becomes much clearer and gives
the problems that the staff faces much more legitimacy. Overall, attending this team
meeting helped teach me lessons applicable to not only our course dealing with
exceptionality but lessons that I can take with me as an educator going into the
future.