Combined Vision and Hearing Loss
Planning for instruction can be an invigorating, but also time intensive process. When possible, it is best if educators can come together, bringing their many facets of expertise in an effort to build plans that will support all varieties of learners. At the center of good instruction should be age/grade appropriate content available in the academic standards. Content specialists are a rich resource when it comes to unit planning because they can bring depth and breadth of content knowledge. In addition to content knowledge they also bring ideas for learning activities. Intervention specialists bring their knowledge of learners who have diverse needs, strengths and skills. They bring knowledge of variety in instructional tools, methods and materials. Interventions specialists are attune to the needs of learners and can immediately sense when students are, and are not, understanding instruction and can interject with a new spin on delivery to reconnect students to understanding. Intervention specialists are trained to bring teams of professionals together to support learners and can be the glue that binds and facilitates the planning team. Other professionals such as therapists and paraprofessionals also have vast knowledge to bring to both planning and instruction. Paraprofessionals can be the eyes and ears when teachers are leading instruction and can come in handy for assessment and intervention purposes. They also can provide instructional supports by coaching learners to use tools that can lead to independence. Therapists can find points of access and suggest supports for individual students when it seems they may not be able to complete a task in a traditional manner. All professionals can bring ideas for activities and materials that can engage learners in new ways. When many great minds come together during the planning process there is potential for instruction to become a rich array of opportunities for learners of all types to come together to achieve great things.
We have to build the framework in which we will execute the tasks." (LTG Christianson)