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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Now it’s Julia who looks close to crying. Her openness isn’t a surprise: the group has worked to create a nonjudgmental atmosphere that everyone has come to trust. These teachers aren’t just seeking to “vent” during our meetings, however. Their hope, like Julia’s, is to return to their classrooms with new per- spectives and fresh ideas for intervention. That’s a weighty agenda for sure. But not only do the teachers and I find our time together full of learning, we laugh a lot as well. Sometimes, even more than some interesting new ideas, it’s that laughter that allows a teacher to take heart, regroup, and move forward. It’s clear, though, that it’s going to take some sharing around the table before Julia can regain a sense of humor about Gabrielle. And even though some friendly laughter will help lighten her load, this teacher also needs our company in taking a closer look at her student’s experience. From Reflection to Action: An Essential Progression What our drop-in group does, month after month, involves a set of steps. First we outline what we already know about what a child is doing and feeling, and add information about her inborn nature, history, and life at home. Then, using the information we’ve gathered, we consider the rea- sons behind what is going on and identify specific areas in which a child needs help. Finally, based on our understanding of these first two steps, we generate ideas about how to support growth. Framed more simply, we progress from reflection to action by answering three questions: What do we see? What do we think? What should we do? This three-step progression is useful far beyond the work of our monthly drop-in group: it is central to understanding and helping any youngster whom teachers and parents are worried about. Taking the time to move through it fully can make all the difference when a child isn’t thriv- ing and the adults who care about her can’t figure out what to do about it. That’s because the keys to change often lie in observing what is going on even more carefully in order to get a better feel for why a child is struggling. It is only then that a sensible and child-specific action plan can be put in place to move things forward. As we progress from seeing to thinking to doing, we need some “anchor- ing” ideas to keep us on track. A number of them, listed here, are rooted in widely shared beliefs connected to our field’s knowledge base: • The worrisome behaviors of hard-to-help kids are filled with informa- tion about developmental skills they’re having trouble mastering and From Reflection to Action COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 5