Welcome District TOSAs

Welcome back Teachers! Now that the school year is underway, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to our knowledgeable and accessible TOSA Team for school year 2017/18!

Please take a moment to get to know them through the information provided below. And don’t hesitate to reach out to them often. They are excited to support you in supporting students!

Carolyn Jenkins

I have been working with people on the Autism Spectrum for more than 30 years. I’ve worked in Utah and in Oregon in many settings – group homes, recreation, home-based instruction, respite – but working in schools has been my favorite. I have worked in schools for 20 years as a Resource Room Teacher and Autism Consultant in Cottage Grove, and as an Autism Consultant for Linn-Benton-Lincoln ESD. 5 years ago I was lucky enough to be able to develop a new program in South Lane School District for students on the Autism Spectrum. I have a special interest in supporting students with Social Skills instruction and helping people understand the sensory needs of our students. I am thrilled to have joined Bethel! I look forward to working with the staff to make all schools supportive of our students who are on the Spectrum. I will be working with all schools and all students, Kindergarten to age 21. I can be reached by email or by calling 541-689-3283 ext 2038.

kelly-leguizamonKelly Leguizamon

I have been teaching middle school math for the past 11 years.  As a classroom teacher and TOSA, I try to be innovative in my practice and encourage others to take risks and try new things.  I’ll have a strong focus this year on using SIOP strategies in the classroom to support students who are learning English.  Another area of interest is how to support students who have IEPs for math while keeping them in a General Education classroom. I hope to model and provide feedback on how to structure lessons to get students actively involved and participating in class. I can be reached by email or by calling 541-689-3283 ext 2065.

lisa-suchmanLisa Suchman

I spent my first three years teaching as a founding special education teacher at a new High school on the Southwest side of Chicago that serves urban, low income students. As a special education teacher, I co-taught Writing and Literature to 10-12th graders. At the end of my time in Chicago, 100% of my graduating cohort were accepted to four year universities, all of whom are first generation college students. After moving to the Northwest in 2013, I worked for a year in the Vancouver Public schools building a 1-5th grade Structured Learning Classroom for students with behavior needs. I moved to Eugene in 2014, when I began teaching in the ERR classroom at Shasta Middle school. At Shasta, I worked with the amazing staff to build a full inclusion program for students on the Autism spectrum. Over the past three years of working in behavior and with students on the Autism Spectrum, I have become passionate about creating strong inclusion programs that promote positive behavior environments and the opportunity for all students to have access to the general education setting.  I can be reached by email or by calling 541-689-3283 ext 2006.

Georgeann Harty

I have been working in the education field for over 25 years.  I love being a detective to help figure out the best way to help students succeed!  As the TOSA for Special Services in Bethel I will serve all schools and settings.  I am your go to with any questions about IEP/504 services, laws, or miscellaneous items.  If I don’t know the answer I will find it!  My extension is 2009.  I look forward to serving you all!

EOY 2016-2017

With the final days of the school year rapidly approaching, we wanted to send out one last Instruction Site Post before you leave for the summer. Below are some links that relate to the end of an academic year. Some may remind you of why you are in education, some may be inspiring, others are silly, and still others might be helpful as you look forward to next year. Check them out!

TED talks: Talks from Inspiring Teachers

Get the Most Out of Summer by Vicki Davis: Edutopia

21 EOY Memes for Teachers: We Are Teachers

EOY Reflection questions: Minds in Bloom

Visit past Instruction Site posts: Instruction Site

Thank you for all you do for students in Bethel. Amazing things happen here and it’s because of the commitment by teachers, school leaders, and staff to ensure that we reach, teach, and inspire each student to excellence.

We appreciate you!

And, remember…

“They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” — Carol Buchner

When Students Know More Than the Teacher

For the last 30 years the model of teacher as “sage on the stage” has gradually been evolving to teacher as “guide on the side.” Part of this change has been the exponential growth of knowledge needed to “know everything,” but the stronger influence has been a shift to individualized or personal learning. No longer can teachers be expected to know everything nor do they need to know everything in a world focusing more and more on the uniqueness of each learner and on the skills needed to learn.

This fear of not knowing enough or of students knowing more than we do is most apparent when using instructional technology. Personal devices, millions of apps, new operating systems and the invasion of social media into the educational process makes it hard, if not impossible, to keep up with what’s new. Jumping into the technology swimming pool might feel daunting.

So what can we do? Continue reading

Systems Thinking

As the current school year draws to a close we find ourselves already thinking and planning for the next one.  We are beginning to put together schedules, look at hiring new staff, and prioritize which strategies and practices we will need to implement.  Whether you are planning for leading a building, teaching a classroom, or working with a particular group of students, you might want to consider something referred to as “systems thinking.”

Systems thinking is not a skill that you can pick up in a day, but rather becomes a frame of mind.  Educators can apply systems thinking to the design of their organizational structures and they can also teach students to process ideas using this mindset.  Educator and author, Linda Booth Sweeney offers us 12 Habits of Mind which will enrich our capacity for thinking systematically and for teaching others the critical tools to do the same. For additional tools regarding systems thinking for you and your students; check out her website at http://www.lindaboothsweeney.net/.

12 Habits of Mind

  • Sees the Whole:  sees the world in terms of interrelated “wholes” or systems, rather than as single events, or snapshots;
  • Looks for Connections:  assumes that nothing stands in isolation; and so tends to look for connections among nature, ourselves, people, problems, and events;
  • Pays Attention to Boundaries:  “goes wide” (uses peripheral vision) to check the boundaries drawn around problems, knowing that systems are nested and how you define the system is critical to what you consider and don’t consider;
  • Changes Perspective: changes perspective to increase understanding, knowing that what we see depends on where we are in the system;
  • Looks for Stocks; knows that hidden accumulations (of knowledge, carbon dioxide, debt, and so on) can create delays and inertia;
  • Challenges Mental Models:  challenges one’s own assumptions about how the world works (our mental models) – and looks for how they may limit thinking;
  • Anticipates Unintended Consequences:  anticipates unintended consequences by tracing loops of cause and effect and always asking “what happens next?”;
  • Looks for Change over Time:  sees today’s events as a result of past trends and a harbinger of future ones;
  • Sees Self as Part of the System;  looks for influences from within the system, focusing less on blame and more on how the structure (or set of interrelationships) may be influencing behavior;
  • Embraces Ambiguity: holds the tension of paradox and ambiguity, without trying to resolve it quickly;
  • Finds Leverage: knows that solutions may be far away from problems and looks for areas of leverage, where a small change can have a large impact on the whole system;
  • Watches for Win/Lose Attitudes: is wary of “win/lose” mindsets, knowing they usually make matters worse in situations of high interdependence.


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