There are many roles an educator can play. For years I was blessed to work at the Center School, an independent school outside of Philadelphia. During my years there, our faculty completed the Schools Attuned Generalist Course, and another teacher and I trained to become course facilitators.
The school was a perfect setting for using a neurodevelopmental lens to develop my understanding of how kids learn – a common mission, supportive colleagues, and families who were committed to finding ways to better understand how their child learned. It is not surprising that my involvement with AKOM has deepened since my initial introduction years ago.
But now I find myself in a new role – reading specialist-at-large.
As a private practitioner, I perform many duties with students in a variety of schools, including tutoring, assessment, academic coaching and advising. The tutoring relationship lends itself to demystifying students and helping them to develop and implement workable management plans. In my experience, students are hungry to better understand themselves, and appreciate the opportunity to take ownership of their learning.
But working independently also presents challenges I never faced in my years at Center School. The biggest is forging a relationship with the teachers my clients have so that they can better understand the learning needs of their (and my) students.
Over the coming weeks in this space, I will be processing out loud some of the challenges that educators face when they are providing ancillary, rather than primary support to students.
One thought on “AKOM and the Solo Practitioner”
I am an occupational therapist who completed the Schools Attuned course in 2007 and have very similar experiences working independently within a number of schools. I have used my Schools Attuned experience especially in my written reports and during feedback to parents, but the real joy is through the demystification process with the children I work – that has been transformational in my practice. I would love to hear more about your experience and how do you get teachers to be excited about seeing children through a different lens without them feeling ‘Oh no, another new thing to try and incorporate!’