As part of my practicum placement this semester, I am spending some time at the Kirch Developmental Services Center at Strong Hospital. It’s a med/ed clinic where kids are referred for diagnostic testing. They spend half of their time there with an educator, who administers a variety of standardized assessments and the rest of their time with a developmental pediatrician. The whole team meets to discuss each child and to come up with a diagnosis, instructional recommendations, and information on these conclusions to give to parents.
It has been a really interesting experience for me. I have been able to learn more about and administer some of the assessments and it has been valuable for me to see both the educational and medical sides of the whole testing process. Most of all, I feel that I am learning a lot about how to communicate with parents. I have been able to observe how these different professionals communicate with parents in a way that is informative, but not judgemental and I think that is a very important skill to have as a teacher. I think that this experience will make parent teacher conferences and other similar situations much easier for me when I have my own classroom.