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De Facto Leaders

Author: Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan

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On the De Facto Leaders podcast, host Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan helps pediatric therapists and educators become better leaders, so they can make a bigger impact with their services. With over 15 years of experience supporting school-age kids with diverse learning needs, Dr. Karen shares up-to-date evidence-based practices, her own experiences and guest interviews designed to help clinicians, teachers, and aspiring school leaders feel more confident in the way they serve their students and clients. She’ll cover a range of topics designed to help you support students' emotional and academic growth and set kids up for success in adulthood, including how to support language, literacy, executive functioning, and how to help IEP teams working together to support kids across the day. Whether you want to learn more effective strategies for your therapy session or classroom, be a more influential leader on your team, or find creative ways to use your skills to advance in your career, Dr. Karen has you covered.
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Almost every school leader that I know has said they didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into when they started their first administrative position. In this episode, I wanted to share clips from past “De Facto Leaders” guests to showcase some of the challenges faced by school administrators (or those hoping to move into an administrative role). You’ll hear discussions on:✅Qualities of a good principal: Protecting staff and removing barriers✅Navigating ambiguity and impostor syndrome as a leader✅Can teaching practices change if the system isn’t ready? ✅Investing in curriculums: The end user is the TEACHER, not the student. ✅Asking for help: How to make it an easy “yes” for the other person. This episode includes clips from the following interviews:EP 109: Can my principal evaluate me if they’ve never done my job?(with Eric Makelky)?  Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-109-can-my-principal-evaluate-me-if-theyve-never-done-my-job-with-eric-makelky/EP 151: Does your SYSTEM support your policy and your curriculum? (with Jalita Johnson) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-151-does-your-system-support-your-policy-and-your-curriculum-with-jalita-johnson/EP 112: How to “lead up” to your school administrator (with Jethro Jones) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-109-can-my-principal-evaluate-me-if-theyve-never-done-my-job-with-eric-makelky/In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
As a professional field, we’re getting stuck in old ways of thinking when it comes to designing services for students experiencing executive dysfunction. When we think of “therapy” the first thing that comes to mind is a clinician sitting in a chair saying things like, “And how does that make you feel?” or a clinician doing exercises in a 1:1 or group setting. When we think of “planning for therapy”, we think of what materials or activities we’re going to do in our direct therapy sessions. With “social skills intervention”, we think of an adult teaching a group of kids how to follow the rules in social situations, while students answer questions and discuss to demonstrate their understanding. Lack of generalization continues to be one of the biggest pain points for therapists using these models. And while most clinicians agree that collaboration with other professionals and caregivers is important, the “planning” for those activities is often less intentional than the way we plan for direct intervention. That’s why in the School of Clinical Leadership, the first thing I teach clinicians is how to create a long-term strategic plan for putting executive functioning support in place for their caseloads (and sometimes the entire school) using multiple service delivery models. When the entire intervention starts and ends within a traditional therapy session, students don’t generalize executive functioning skills across settings. We as a field need to evolve in the way we think about what’s included in “therapy” services for executive functioning. There are three paradigm shifts clinicians, educators, and school leaders can make when thinking about supporting kids executive functioning in schools. I describe what they are in this episode.I mentioned the following resources in this episode:Push-in, pull-out, co-teaching: What’s most functional for language therapy? (Link here: https://drkarenspeech.com/push-in-pull-out-co-teaching-whats-most-functional-for-language-therapy/)How to make better accommodations by being less accommodating  (Link here: https://drkarenspeech.com/push-in-pull-out-co-teaching-whats-most-functional-for-language-therapy/)EP 83: How to provide high-quality support for your caseload with the “asset stack” method (Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-83-how-to-provide-high-quality-support-for-your-caseload-with-the-asset-stack-method/)In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers develop a strategic plan for putting executive functioning support in place in collaboration with their school teams. You can learn more about that program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Language and executive functioning have a bidirectional relationship (Baron & Arbel, 2022; Larson, et al., 2019). This means that building language skills can impact executive functioning, and vice versa. A significant amount of executive functioning skills are required to comprehend language-based academic tasks like reading and writing. Yet strategic thinking (which is part of executive functioning) requires a significant amount of internal dialogue; which is very difficult to engage in without adequate vocabulary or ability to use and understand complex syntax (Fahy, 2014). Complex sentences are loaded with language that indicates cause and effect or temporal information; all which are essential for strategic planning. On top of that, many students continue to struggle with reading comprehension without direct work on foundational language skills; even if they’re taught comprehension strategies (Eberhardt, 2013; Scott, 2009; Scott & Koonce, 2014; Nippold, 2017).One might make the argument then (which I often do), that these underlying language skills are necessary to developing strong executive functioning skills. This makes both treatment planning, diagnosis, and determining eligibility for educational programming complicated; especially when it comes to legal guidelines as well as state and local policies. That’s why in episode 166 of De Facto Leaders, I’m sharing a Q & A session I did in my Language Therapy Advance Foundations member’s group to talk about the relationship between syntax, processing and higher level cognitive processes like executive functioning. In this episode, I share: ✅How to create a strategic plan if you need to build a system for language therapy and a system for executive functioning intervention?✅Should you focus on the students' needs or your own needs when planning your professional development goals?✅Common comorbidities and diagnoses to consider when focusing on language, executive functioning, and reading/writing.✅The impact of syntax on other language and cognitive processes.✅Common sentence types that are difficult for individuals with DLD and other diagnoses that impact language.✅Ineffective strategies used to comprehend difficult sentence types.✅Why do these difficult sentence types impact comprehension, processing, and our ability to engage in internal dialogue and strategic planning?In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/I also mentioned the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers develop a strategic plan for putting executive functioning support in place in collaboration with their school teams. You can learn more about that program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership You can view the YouTube version of this video with slides here: https://youtu.be/7-F0fjjJ0F8I also mentioned the following resources:Ultimate Guide to Sentence Structure : https://drkarenspeech.com/sentencestructure​The 5 Component Language Therapy Framework: https://drkarenspeech.com/language​​Syntactic Development in the School-Age Years​​: https://drkarenspeech.com/syntactic-development-school-age-years/​K-12 Professional Learning: It’s about what the adults need, not just the kids: https://drkarenspeech.com/k-12-professional-learning-its-about-what-adults-need-not-just-the-kids/​De Facto Leaders EP 159: Comorbidities and Differential Diagnosis: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-159-comborbidities-and-differential-diagnosis-adhd-dld-dyslexia/​ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Teacher preparation programs should equip reading teachers with the knowledge they need to provide explicit intervention for students who have dyslexia or other disabilities. But what if they don’t? Unfortunately, this situation is quite common. That’s why I invited Mary Saghafi and Shannon Betts from the Reading Teachers’ Lounge Podcast to episode 165 of the De Facto Leaders podcast to talk about how reading specialists and other service providers can emerge as literacy leaders; whether it be in their current job or within a career transition. The Reading Teachers’ Lounge is a podcast where listeners can eavesdrop on professional conversations between elementary reading teachers. Shannon and Mary are passionate about literacy and strive to find strategies to reach all learners. Shannon and Mary are neighbors who realized they were “literacy soul sisters” at a dinner in their Atlanta Neighborhood. Once they started chatting about reading, they haven’t really stopped. Shannon is currently teaching part time as a reading resource teacher while she continues to create teaching materials on Teachers Pay Teachers and Boom Learning. Mary is a private tutor and dyslexia advocate. They began our podcast in 2018 and are currently finishing their sixth season.In this conversation, we share:✅How a litigious situation turned into a reading reform initiative and inspired Mary to make a career pivot.✅When there’s conflict between schools and parents; should you be a united front with your school team, even if you resonate more with the parent’s point of view? ✅The parent advocacy perspective: How parents can advocate for their kids AND the school staff at the same time. ✅Should schools be using the “dyslexia” label (and what do the laws require vs. allow)? ✅Will voicing your opinion have a negative impact on your career (plus Shannon’s experience with being the squeaky wheel on her team)? You can find Shannon’s Teachers Pay Teachers store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Rdng, and her Boom Learning resources here: https://wow.boomlearning.com/author/rdng?collection=Decks&sort=publishDate&order=-1Connect with Shannon and Mary on their Patreon community for literacy professionals here: https://www.patreon.com/readingteachersloungeFollow the Reading Teacher’s Lounge Podcast on Instagram @readingteacherslounge https://www.instagram.com/readingteacherslounge/, on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/readingteacherslounge, or on their podcast website here: https://www.readingteacherslounge.com/podcast-homeListen to the Reading Teacher’s Lounge Season 6, Episode 13 (Link here: https://www.readingteacherslounge.com/season-6-episodes/s6-e-13-the-intersection-of-speech-reading-and-language)  where I was a guest, and we discussed the partnership between speech-language pathologists and reading teachers here.I mentioned the following resources in this episode:EP 141: No, kids do not learn to read and write naturally with (with Melanie Brethour) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-141-no-kids-do-not-learn-to-read-and-write-naturally-with-melanie-brethour/EP 159: Co-morbidities and Differential Diagnosis (ADHD, DLD, Dyslexia) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-159-comorbidities-and-differential-diagnosis-adhd-dld-dyslexia/Williams, V. (2023) Letter from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on the use of “Developmental Language Disorder” for special education eligibility. Office of Special Education Programs. Retrieved from: https://www.asha.org/siteassets/advocacy/comments/OSEP-Response-Letter-to-ASHA-on-DLD-5.30.23.pdfYudin, M. K. (2015). Letter from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on the use of “Dyslexia” for special education eligibility. Office of Special Education Programs. Retrieved from: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/files/policy_speced_guid_idea_memosdcltrs_guidance-on-dyslexia-10-2015.pdfIn this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Is it functional to work on parts of speech?Is sentence diagramming useful? How do we improve word-retrieval in kids with developmental disabilities, and is it similar to what we’d do for an adult with a brain injury?How can we make therapy academically relevant and functional beyond just getting a good score on a standardized test? I invited speech-language pathologist and Language Therapy Advance Foundations student Katy Wyatt to the show to share answers to these questions. I’m always excited to connect with people who are using the frameworks I teach; because I’m always amazed at some of the creative ideas they come up with to expand on what I’ve given them.If you’re a Language Therapy Advance Foundations student, and you want some practical ways to use the tools I’ve given you, you'll really enjoy this interview. And if you’ve been lurking and considering whether the program is for you, this will give you an idea of what you’ll learn if you do decide to join. Katy Wyatt graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 2017, with a Masters of Arts in Communication Disorders. After moving to North Carolina, Katy has worked in head starts, homes, schools, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities with clients ages 11 months to 99+ years. Katy is a board-certified cognitive specialist, and has also been certified in the SOS approach to feeding. Katy currently works in the schools full time with Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness; she works with students to improve their language, articulation, and fluency skills, develop alternative means of communication, and improve their social and academic functioning. Katy also serves as the compliance coordinator and SLP-Assistant supervisor with Speech Inspirations PLLC.In this conversation, we discuss:✅The parallels between therapy for aphasia and child language disorders.✅Why therapy focused on vocabulary and background knowledge can ALSO address executive functioning skills like the ability to self-question, generate and evaluate ideas, and plan/executive them. ✅Parts of speech and sentence diagramming: How to embed this kind of work into structured but contextualized activities.✅Syntax as a vocabulary skill: How to help kids understand what words MEAN and what words DO.✅Why it’s impossible to define what vocabulary skills are “age-appropriate” at each grade level; and how to reframe the way you think about scaffolding across grade levels and varying student needs. ✅Generalization: How to focus on explicit instruction of content and strategy in direct therapy while ALSO giving students retrieval tools they can use outside sessions. You can listen to the entire conversation here. The Language Severity Rate Scale and Classroom Communication and Learning Checklist from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) can be found here: https://www.dpi.nc.gov/documents/ec/speech-guide/downloadI mentioned this conversation in this interview: EP 148: Unlocking success through sensory processing and team collaboration (with Maude Le Roux) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-148-unlocking-success-through-sensory-processing-and-team-collaboration-with-maude-le-roux/Katy is a member of Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that gives SLPs and other service providers create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Preparing young people for adulthood is all about providing them with the right blend of experiences; both in and outside of school. Building literacy, numeracy, and content knowledge will give students a foundation for success; but we need to pair that with real-world experiences where they can apply that knowledge in real time.When we think about “real-world” experiences; we often think of internships, “on the job” skills, or daily tasks and other things we’d categorize as “adulting”. However, outdoor excursions offer kids and young adults the opportunities to explore and experience things beyond the day-to-day. It’s one thing to learn about water health and environmental studies in a classroom; but when you get the chance to do a multi-week excursion along the Hudson river and drink from a natural water source, you amplify your learning to a new level. That’s why I invited Greg Morrissey to the De Facto Leaders podcast for episode 163. If you enjoy hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities you’ll want to listen. Trust me, you’ll thank me later :)Greg Morrissey is an educator, explorer, and founder of Mountain Goat Movement -- an organization that provides transformative adventures for students while connecting them to leading explorers, educators, and storytellers. Think: education through adventure. Projects can be as short as one day or as extensive as a multi-week expedition, everywhere from the Adirondacks to Antarctica. Greg has raised over $140,000 for students from low-income backgrounds to experience the power of the great outdoors.In this conversation, we discuss:✅Bringing traditional curriculum and content areas to authentic outdoor experiences.✅How to use excursions to help kids work as a team and form connections with peers.✅The concept of “tiered” expeditions: Offering different activities to support different levels of experience with the outdoors✅What habits and skills can you practice in daily life to prepare for a multi-day or multi-week adventure✅A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to prepare for quality outdoor education; including what Greg is doing to raise funds for scholarships to increase equity. Be sure to check out the BE podcast network for educators and aspiring leaders. If you’re looking for shows to inspire you to level up in your career or more effectively serve students, we’ve got you covered. Learn more about the BE podcast network at http://bepodcastnetwork.com/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
My heart sinks when I see how polarizing topics in education have become, as well as the tendency for people to have “all or nothing” thinking.I’ve seen an increasing amount of activities pitted against each other as if doing one means we can’t ALSO do the other:👉Standardized testing vs. real-world observations/stakeholder interviews.👉Year-round school vs. traditional summer break.👉Critical thinking skills vs. foundational skills.👉Play vs. academics during non-school time (after school or over the summer).👉Soft skills vs. technical skills.What if we stopped thinking about all of these things as opposing viewpoints, and instead tried to integrate them together? What if we stopped saying, “Should I do this or that?”, and instead started asking “How can I find a way to do this AND that”? I invited my colleague David Schipper to episode 162 of the De Facto Leaders podcast to ponder some of these questions. Specifically, I wanted to tackle the “summer slide” debate. This topic is near and dear to me because I was a “summer slider”. I was almost held back in first grade because I was behind in reading, and my parents took it upon themselves to spend time with me after school during the school and over the summer to get me remedial instruction in reading through a combination of things they did at home, as well as tutoring programs they invested in. I was also shy and anxious, and needed a nudge from my very extroverted mom to participate in activities that allowed me to work with others, build friendships, handle frustration and learning curves, and develop mental flexibility. These experiences were essential in helping me to fully leverage the skills I was working on concurrently, like reading. But going to the pool for swim meets in the summer did not teach me to read; my academic instruction did. Had my parents decided to just “let me catch up naturally” and eliminated the reading tutoring from my early years, I wonder what kind of impact that would have had. Would I have turned into a lifelong learner? Would I have felt even more anxious due to the combination of struggling academically AND being really shy? Would the issue have been identified if standardized testing wasn’t done? In this interview David and I talked about how we can better answer these questions, starting with a discussion of the summer slide. David Schipper is the director of Strategic Learning Clinic, a position he has held since 2013. David obtained a B.A. in English Literature from Concordia University in 1998 as well as a B.Ed. in Secondary Education (English and History) from McGill University in 2002. After some work as a local teacher in Montreal, David founded 2Torial Educational Centre in 2007. Aside from his ability to put both parents and students at ease, David is able to help families get to the root of the problem(s) and propose the most suitable programs to resolve these issues. As a father of two children, David knows how to relate to the concerns of parents and as an experienced educator and passionately understands the struggles of students. His passion and dedication to teaching and learning is second to none.*We briefly discussed a presentation that covered a sensitive topic in this interview. In this conversation, we discuss:✅Is the summer slide real? Who is it impacting the most?✅This isn’t just about summer: It’s about what we’re prioritizing in school.✅The case of too many accommodations: What happens in the college years when we don’t build foundational academic skills before students graduate high school.✅The layering of academic skills with executive functioning: Real life examples of how it looks when teenagers are planful with their time and when they aren’t. ✅Tutoring: Yes, it’s needed; but what does good tutoring look like? In this conversation, I mention a number of other interviews relating to the topic of early literacy, so be sure to check the show notes for links to all of those other interviews in the show notes here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-162-the-summer-slide-real-phenomenon-or-invented-by-tutoring-companies-with-david-schipper/In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/I also mentioned the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers develop a strategic plan for putting executive functioning support in place in collaboration with their school teams. You can learn more about that program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Helping families feel involved in their children’s education goes beyond checking the boxes to make sure you’re following legal guidelines.That’s why I invited Dr. Kristin Vogel-Campbell to De Facto Leaders to talk about how school teams can make the IEP process more welcoming to families, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Dr. Kristin Vogel-Campbell (she/her/hers) is a veteran Special Educator with over 20 years in the field. She has served in various roles from paraeducator to Director of Student Services and Special Education. She was a classroom teacher for a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area, working with students from Kindergarten through 8th grade. She is a systems-focused educator, working at the district level with school teams to ensure that students with disabilities are provided high-quality, research-based instruction and that all students are treated with dignity and respect in the Least Restrictive Environment. In addition, she has supported new site leaders in deepening their understanding of Special Education, including laws and protections for students and families. Kristin is a practitioner-researcher, working with families to share their experiences and perspectives. Informed with this familial knowledge, teams can make practical shifts needed to move to a collaborative partnership with culturally affirming, sustainable, and equitable families. She has presented at AERA (American Educational Research Association), NAME (National Association of Multicultural Education), and ACSA (Association of California School Administrators, among others. Articles have appeared in Leadership (ACSA magazine), The Journal of Leadership, Equity, and Research, and the KQED Education blog. Her book “Partnering with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families in Special Education” was published in December 2023 by Rowman & Littlefield.In this conversation, we discuss:✅You’ve provided the “procedural safeguards”, but do families really understand their rights? ✅What’s going on when parents don’t show up for parent-teacher conferences and IEP meetings?✅Why environmental set-up matters during IEP meetings; including seating arrangements and how/when the team enters the room. ✅Navigating language barriers, transportation issues, and logistical constraints. ✅Finding the balance between family schedules and staff contractual time when setting up IEP meetings.✅Tips for managing nerves during IEP meetings so you can make your report feel conversational (and less technical).You can connect with Dr. Vogel-Campbell on LinkedIn here (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drvogelcampbell/), and on Instagram here (https://www.instagram.com/drvogelcampbell/). Be sure to check out her book “Partnering with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families in Special Education” here (https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538180365/Partnering-with-Culturally-and-Linguistically-Diverse-Families-in-Special-Education).Be sure to check out these other episodes of De Facto Leaders where I talked about how to improve community and family engagement:EP 113: Making literacy accessible and equitable (with Cassandra Williams) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-113-making-literacy-accessible-and-equitable-with-cassandra-williams/EP 118: Coaching aspiring leaders in school turn-around and community outreach (with Edward Gordon II) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-118-coaching-aspiring-leaders-in-school-turn-around-and-community-outreach-with-edward-gordon-ii/EP 96: Supporting bilingualism in K-12 kids (with Briana Wagner) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-96-supporting-bilingualism-in-k-12-kids-with-briana-wagner/EP 143: Developing a cultural competemility mindset (with Melanie Evans) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-143-developing-a-cultural-competemility-mindset-for-educators-and-clinicians-with-melanie-evans/I also mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
About The Authority Podcast:Hosted by leadership coach, storytelling strategist, and edtech advisor Ross Romano, The Authority provides education leaders with proven ideas to increase your influence, hire and develop an excellent staff, build a stronger culture, lead meaningful change, form a strong foundation for teaching and learning success, and more. The show features interviews with the authors you already admire, up-and-coming voices, and experts from the worlds of business, personal development, and beyond — including Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers — to take a deep dive into their wealth of practical insights. To become a listener of The Authority:Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/4a3Fer1 Subscribe on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/40sZzRr Subscribe on other platforms: https://bit.ly/48dhakQ In this episode, I mentioned the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers put executive functioning support in place on their school teams. You can learn more about the program here.  We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
There’s a lot of "us vs. them" thinking happening relating to what’s going on in the school systems.Parents feeling like teachers don't want to accommodate students with diverse learning needs.Teachers feeling like administrators don't understand because they aren't in classrooms anymore. Therapists feeling like teachers don't want to reinforce strategies in their classrooms, or that administrators don't value their expertise. It’s easy to default to thinking the worst of the person on the other side of the table, but what if we approached interactions assuming the BEST? When we assume the worst, we may miss opportunities to form partnerships; or at the very least, have compassion for other people who are most likely trying to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is a challenge when you’re burnt out, or if you feel the person you're interacting with has more authority and power than you.That’s why I wanted to have a conversation about this topic with Dr. Barbara Flowers, an elementary principal and life coach for educators and administrators. Barb Flowers is an elementary school principal and an educator life coach with 14 years of experience in the field of education. Holding a Ph.D. in K-12 Leadership and currently pursuing certification as a Confidence Coach, her passion lies in supporting educators to reduce burnout and enhance their confidence in their roles. Drawing from her personal journey as a teacher and early administrator, during which she struggled with confidence issues and self-doubt, she is driven to help others in overcoming similar challenges. Now, her mission is to empower educators, ensuring they navigate their professional journeys with resilience and self-assurance. Barb also is the host of The Teacher Burnout Podcast and The Principal's Handbook Podcast.In this conversation, we discuss common conflicts that happen in K-12 education and how to resolve them, including:✅Finding time to pull kids out for therapy; considering both the therapist’s and teacher’s point of view.✅Determining when kids should receive support in a special education setting versus when they should stay in general education with support. ✅Navigating co-teaching: Does it make things easier for general education teachers, or does it add more work to their plates? ✅When being good at your job becomes a hazard: How to avoid overloading staff who are good at supporting students with complex needs.✅Why therapists are hesitant to co-teach, and how to have conversations with your building administrator about making inclusion intentional.You can connect with Barb on her website here (https://barbflowerscoaching.com/) or on Instagram @barbflowerscoaching (https://www.instagram.com/barbflowerscoaching/).Listen to The Teacher Burnout Podcast here (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-teacher-burnout-podcast/id1680061535).You can listen to my conversation with Barb on The Principal’s Handbook Podcast here (https://cp.bepodcast.network/episodes/effective-strategies-for-collaborating-across-multidisciplinary-teams-with-karen-dudek-brannan). I also mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here (https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership).  We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
When kids need support with language, reading/writing, and executive functioning, they often have multiple diagnoses.This makes both treatment planning, diagnosis, and determining eligibility for educational programming complicated; especially when it comes to legal guidelines as well as state and local policies. That’s why in episode 159 of De Facto Leaders, I’m sharing a Q & A session I did about comorbidities in my Language Therapy Advance Foundations member’s group. In this episode I talk about the simple view of reading and how it aligns with the essential 5 framework.I also talk about common comorbidities, including: ✅Developmental language disorder + dyslexia✅ADHD + dyslexia✅Dyslexia + ADHDI wrap up by discussing clarification from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on the use of terms like “dyslexia” and “developmental language disorder” and the difference between schools being PERMITTED to use a term vs. being REQUIRED to provide services aligned with FAPE. In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here (https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/).The following are evaluation tools that can help guide you in evaluating and treating individuals with ADHD, dyslexia, DLD, and other diagnoses that impact reading, writing, language, and executive functioning. I cover a complete framework for executive functioning intervention in the School of Clinical Leadership, my program for related service providers who want to emerge as the executive functioning lead on their school teams. You can learn more about that program here (https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership). Keep in mind when you view this list that formal evaluation tools should be used in conjunction with other non-standardized tools. It's best practice to utilize a portfolio process when doing an evaluation which can consist of a combination of observations, stakeholder interviews, work samples, data from non-standardized protocols, and formal assessments. You can read the full list of assessments in this article here (https://drkarenspeech.com/co-morbidities-and-differential-diagnosis-adhd-dld-dyslexia/). We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
The most effective reading instructional practices aren’t always the ones that gain traction.It’s the ones with the most successful marketing campaigns. The best marketer wins; but this certainly isn’t a win for the students who go without effective instruction or the school staff struggling to support them. That’s why I was so excited to talk with Dr. Pamela Snow about the growing body of research relating to literacy and its impact on life outcomes; as well as how we can improve the discourse surrounding effective instruction and improve instructional practices.Pamela Snow is a Professor of Cognitive Psychology in the School of Education at the Bendigo campus of La Trobe University, Australia. She is also Co-Director of the Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) Lab. Pamela is a registered psychologist, having qualified originally in speech-language pathology and has taught a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate education and health professionals. Her research has been funded by nationally competitive schemes such as the ARC Discovery Program, ARC Linkage Program, and the Criminology Research Council, and concerns the role of language and literacy skills as academic and mental health protective factors in childhood and adolescence. She has conducted research on the profiles and needs of high-risk groups such as youth offenders, children and adolescents in the state care system and flexible education systems, as well as research advancing evidence in the language-to-literacy transition in the early years of school. In 2020, Pamela established, with her colleague, Professor Tanya Serry, The Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) Lab in the School of Education at La Trobe University. Pamela’s research has been published in a wide range of international journals and she was a member of the 2017 National Year 1 Literacy and Numeracy Panel, convened by the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Federal Education Minister. She is a Life Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a past Victorian State Chair of the Australian Psychological Society. Pamela has over 170 publications, comprising refereed papers, books and book chapters, monographs and research reports. In addition to these academic outputs, Pamela writes a popular blog for teachers, parents, and clinicians: The Snow Report - https://pamelasnow.blogspot.com/ and is a founding Associate Editor of The Reading League Journal. In this interview, we discuss:✅The impact of social media on the dissemination of research in education.✅Can the discussion of reading research become an ongoing feedback loop between people teaching reading and those conducting research?✅Comprehension and application are the end goals when it comes to the goal of education. But how do we define what “comprehension” is and how we work on it? ✅Play-based learning vs early reading instruction: Why they aren’t in opposition.✅Using explicit instruction to build skills needed for problem-solving and successful project-based learning.✅Whose job is it to work on reading? How much is the responsibility of the schools, and what is the parent’s job?You can connect with Dr. Snow on X (formerly Twitter) @pamelasnow2 (https://twitter.com/PamelaSnow2) or on her blog at: http://pamelasnow.blogspot.com/We mentioned the following articles on her blog in this episode including:Balanced Literacy Bingo (Link here: http://pamelasnow.blogspot.com/2022/11/balanced-literacy-bingo.html)School leaders and reading instruction: Time to demand LESS rather than more autonomy (Link here: http://pamelasnow.blogspot.com/2023/10/school-leaders-and-science-of-reading.html)You can also learn more about her work on her La Trobe University page at: https://scholars.latrobe.edu.au/pcsnowYou can learn more about the Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) lab at: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/school-education/about/spotlightThe number of experts and resources were mentioned in this episode, including:Dr. Anita Archer: https://explicitinstruction.org/Dr. David C. Geary: https://psychology.missouri.edu/people/gearyDr. Louisa Moats: https://louisamoats.com/Dr. Steven Dykstra: https://iferi.org/dr-steven-dykstra/Natalie Wexler: https://nataliewexler.com/Nancy Hennessey’s “The Reading Comprehension Blueprint”: https://products.brookespublishing.com/The-Reading-Comprehension-Blueprint-P1197.aspxIn this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
The literacy space has become increasingly polarizing since the reading wars began.There are a number of debates and questions that continue, including:Will kids learn to read “naturally”? What did the whole language approach get right, if anything?Is explicit phonics instruction just a pendulum swing (and is focusing on phonics enough)?Are we teaching kids to read too early? When we talk about “early literacy” instruction, what are we actually recommending and how does that look? I invited Jane Gebers, veteran speech-language pathologist and author to episode 157 De Facto Leaders to discuss these questions. I entered the field right around the time the National Reading Panel study was published, so there was a fair amount of research on evidence-based literacy intervention when I started practicing. But when Jane started practicing, much of this research hadn’t been done, and she had the experience of watching the fields of education and reading instruction evolve. She was also one of the early adopters of many approaches that are common practice today, and it was an honor to hear about her work. Jane L. Gebers is the author of the popular resource, Books Are for Talking, Too! (Link here: https://www.slpstorytellers.com/2023/09/11/slp-author-book-books-are-for-talking-too-by-jane-gebers/), first published in 1990, and now in its 4th edition as of March 2023. A practicing speech-language pathologist for over 40 years, she has worked in public school, hospital, private, and clinical settings. She has been an adjunct professor at St. Mary's College of California and other universities where she taught Language Development, Assessment, and Intervention courses to students pursuing special education credentials. She currently holds a private practice in Northern California.In this conversation, Jane and I discuss:✅Everyone’s talking about “scaffolding”, but what does this word actually mean?✅Reading practices that have stood the test of time, despite attempts to disprove their effectiveness.✅The battle between play-based learning and “sight words”; and how to emphasize the right skills at the right time.✅When building language skills, do we focus on a developmental hierarchy or environmental demands? ✅Mapping language to print symbols and what to address in the early years to set the stage for reading and writing. You can connect with Jane on her website here: https://soundingyourbest.com, and find her book, Books Are for Talking, Too! here: https://www.slpstorytellers.com/2023/09/11/slp-author-book-books-are-for-talking-too-by-jane-gebers/  The following resources were mentioned in this episode:Some of the work done by Dr. Carol Westby, Ph.D. (Link here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/152574019902100107)The Neuroscience of Reading with Dr. G. Reid. Lyon (Link here: https://irrc.education.uiowa.edu/blog/2023/05/neuroscience-reading-dr-g-reid-lyon)Teachers’ Use of Scaffolds within Conversations During Shared Book Reading (Dekshmukh, R.S., Pentimonti, J.M., Zucker, T.A., & Curry, B.) (Link here: https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/2021_LSHSS-21-00020)In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here:  https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/I also mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
No one working in special ed has ever said, “I chose this career so I could do paperwork all evening and weekend.”Yet many realize after getting into the field that administrative demands can take away from time spent with students or collaborating with colleagues. That’s why I was so excited to connect with Sean Klamm, special educator and founder of Playground IEP (Link here: https://www.playgroundiep.com/) in episode 156 of “De Facto Leaders”. After starting his career as a teacher and then special education administrator, Sean was inspired to find a solution that would streamline, and potentially remove some of the “behind the scenes” work special educators need to do to manage service plans.Sean Klamm is the Founder of Playground IEP. Sean is a Special Educator and former Director of Special Education at Butler College Prep in Chicago. After serving as Director for 5 years, Sean transitioned to build Playground IEP; the special education tools he wished he had while working in the school. Playground IEP is a new class of caseload management software that increases collaboration and automates many of the manual caseload management tasks. Sean and his team also built IEPcopilot.ai (Link here: https://www.playgroundiep.com/iep-copilot) which uses AI to assist in writing IEP goals, BIPs, and other sections of the IEP. Sean and his team are committed to building tools that allow teachers to spend more time with students and less time with spreadsheets.In this conversation, we discuss:✅ What’s the real motivation behind using AI and technology?✅ How to keep the entire team in the loop about goals and accommodations (instead of letting IEPs collect dust in a binder on the shelf).✅ When teachers aren’t supported, IEPs don’t get fully implemented. How do we solve that problem? ✅ Using AI and technology to make space for better instructional practices and team collaboration.✅ Systems vs. tools vs. culture: How leadership can avoid the “technology for the sake of technology” trap. You can connect with Sean on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanklamm/Learn more about PlayGround IEP here: https://www.playgroundiep.com/Create a free IEP Copilot account here: https://www.playgroundiep.com/iep-copilotIn this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ I also mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Related service providers are often considered subject matter experts. Our role is to support other members of multidisciplinary teams like teachers, parents and administrators. But many clinicians I’ve talked to started their careers feeling like a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Some feel that graduate school was all theory and no practice. Others feel it was “drinking water through a firehose”, with way too broad of a scope to feel confident in any specific area.That’s why it’s so important for professionals in education and healthcare to have a gameplan that helps them navigate all stages of their careers, so they can uncover interests and talents.In my personal situation, it started when I felt overwhelmed as a new SLP trying to understand my role on the school team supporting language and literacy; which is what inspired me to create Language Therapy Advance Foundations. That’s why I was so excited to connect with Brianna Guild from SLP Literacy Corner who went through a similar journey.Brianna is a private practice Speech-Language Pathologist in Ontario, Canada. She provides virtual speech therapy sessions, primarily in the areas of literacy, language, and articulation, to residents of Ontario. She started her own small business, SLP Literacy Corner, in 2022. She aims to support busy educators by creating resources and sharing activity ideas aligned with the Science of Reading. She is passionate about sharing low-prep resources and ideas for students of all ages, so educators can spend less time planning their literacy lessons. Her journey to becoming an SLP was not a traditional one. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Psychology from the University of Guelph, and then her Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Toronto. She loves that the field of Speech-Language Pathology combines her interests in education, healthcare, and research.In this conversation, we discuss:✅What is it like to be a struggling reader? (we both share our lived experiences).✅How to discover your niche as a clinician and find your area of specialization.✅The “pendulum myth”: Why evidence-based reading instruction is not just another trend.✅Beyond phonics: How has the Science of Reading evolved?✅Reading as a basic human right: It’s impact on access to higher education and career opportunities✅Finding your people and uncovering your version of clinical leadership.You can connect with Brianna on her SLP Literacy Corner website here: https://www.slpliteracycorner.ca/  on Instagram here: http://@slp.literacy.corner or on her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082685452676You can find her SLP Literacy Corner Teachers Pay Teachers store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Slp-Literacy-Corner We mentioned the following resources in this episode:“The Reading Comprehension Blueprint” by Nancy E. Hennessy, M.Ed (Link here: https://products.brookespublishing.com/The-Reading-Comprehension-Blueprint-P1197.aspx)The Hanen ABC and Beyond Program for Building Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Settings (Link here: https://www.hanen.org/Programs/For-Educators/ABC-and-Beyond.aspx)Ascend SMARTER Intervention Reading and Writing Curriculum (Link here: https://www.ascendlearningcenter.com/dsi-curriculum)Basics of Decoding and Spelling Instruction by the International Dyslexia Association (Link here: https://www.idaontario.com/wpeducation/basics-of-decoding-and-spelling-instruction/)National Reading Panel (Link here: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/nrp/Documents/report.pdf)International Dyslexia Association (Link here: https://dyslexiaida.org/structured-literacy-effective-instruction-for-students-with-dyslexia-and-related-reading-difficulties/)Ontario Language Curriculum (Link here: https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/elementary-language)ONlit hub for evidence-based systematic and explicit instruction (Link here: https://onlit.org/)In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/I also mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
In this episode, I share a special Q & A session I did with the members of Language Therapy Advance Foundations; my program that provides service providers with a research-based framework for language therapy.I get a lot of questions about how to make the transition between preschool to school-age, what language therapy activities are appropriate for younger children, and when to start direct intervention on linguistic skills like syntax.While there is not a scripted protocol or curriculum that gives us all the answers, there’s a wide body of research that shows how an effective intervention framework can work. Should we focus on the “big picture” structure of language, like narrative structure, or should we focus on the pieces? Will kids get the “big picture” if they can’t put the other components together (at the word and sentence level)? Or will developing the structure give them a process that will help them develop those other components. In reality, it’s a little of both. Should we think from a developmental perspective; making sure that kids are developmentally ready to learn certain skills before introducing them? Or should we think from more of a behavioral, or cognitive/linguistic perspective, and operate from the assumption that teaching will facilitate skills?Again, it’s a little of both.In this episode, I clarified some of that nuance, as well as how I’ve considered these things in the framework I teach. ✅How to structure your therapy session; including how to set expectations, how to think about modeling and scaffolding, and where "drill" activities come in to play✅Where does narrative language intervention apply to language therapy? ✅Are some students too young for direct work on vocabulary and syntax? ✅How do we make the transition from preschool to school-age language therapy?✅Describing a pattern vs. diagnosing: How does gestalt language processing fit in to a language therapy framework?The following resources were mentioned in this episode:De Facto Leaders EP 64: Are kids ready to work on complex sentences in elementary school? (Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-64-are-kids-ready-to-work-on-complex-sentences-in-early-elementary-school/)Spencer & Douglas (2020). Narrative Intervention: Principles to Practice (Link here: https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/2020_LSHSS-20-00015)The Informed SLP: Let’s give them something to gestalt about (Link here: https://www.theinformedslp.com/review/let-s-give-them-something-to-gestalt-about)In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors don’t have to define us. This is an important thing to remember for adults dealing with professional burnout and compassion fatigue; and it’s also important to model for kids.When school discipline focuses on punitive measures alone, we miss out on opportunities to teach kids how to manage emotions or repair mistakes. That’s why I’m so excited to share this second half of my conversation with Crissy Mombela in “De Facto Leaders” episode 153, where we talk about the importance of debriefing, maintaining safe school communities, and teaching kids how to restore relationships. Crissy Mombela is the Program Director for the REACH initiative through the Partnership for Resilience. She leads the REACH Communities of Practice (CoP). Her work allows her to be a thought partner and leader in the implementation and evaluation of the REACH Initiative, a strategic partnership with the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the support of the Illinois State Board of Education. With over twenty-five years of public education experience as a special education teacher and administrator, Crissy’s focus is on developing systems that support connection, innovation, and belonging within school communities. Crissy earned her B.S.Ed. with a concentration in special education from Northern Illinois University and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Loyola University. Crissy currently holds an Illinois Professional Educator License for teaching and administration with endorsements for directing special education programs and teaching English Language Learners. In her free time, Crissy enjoys traveling with her family, baking, and scrapbooking.*In this conversation we discuss some sensitive topics relating to traumatic events in schools. In this second half of our conversation, we discuss:✅Why does skipping the debrief after a crisis situation increase the likeliness of compassion fatigue?✅Crisis prevention: How do we take a proactive approach to de-escalation?✅The impact of social-emotional learning for adults: Why it’s not just about the kids.✅Restoring a safe community after physical altercations between students.✅Minimizing retraumatization during the debriefing process.✅Teaching relationship repair and the impact it has on the well-being of all parties.✅Why debriefing should be a part of crisis drills.The following resources were mentioned in this episode:The REACH Initiative at the Center for Childhood Resilience (Link here: https://childhoodresilience.org/reach)The Partnership for Resilience (Link here: https://partnership4resilience.org/)Elena Aguilar Coaching Resistance Podcast Series (Link here: https://www.brightmorningteam.com/podcast/coaching-resistance-part-1-what-is-resistance)Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist (Link here: https://literallyausome.com.au/neurodiverity-strengths/)Ladder of Inference TED Ed by Trevor Maber (Link here: https://www.ted.com/talks/trevor_maber_rethinking_thinking/transcript)Reclaiming Youth At Risk (Link here: https://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-Youth-Risk-Hope-Future/dp/1879639866)The Whole-Brain Child (Link here: https://amzn.to/43d2dNT)National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (Link here: https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/trauma-sensitive-schools-training-package)Conscious Discipline - Bailey (Link here: https://consciousdiscipline.com/free-resources/book-portal/)Relationship, Responsibility, and Regulation (Link here: https://amzn.to/3PjP5Ra)CHAMPS (Link here: https://ancorapublishing.com/product/champs-third-edition/)Hacking School Discipline (Link here: https://amzn.to/4a6ppPY)We Want to Do More Than Survive  (Link here: https://amzn.to/4c6cShg)Other People's Children - Cultural Conflict in the Classroom (Link here: https://www.amazon.com/Other-Peoples-Children-Cultural-Classroom/dp/1595580743)In this episode, I mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership  We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
People working in school or medical settings are in a position to be caring for others in their professional lives; which makes it difficult to leave work at work.When you combine that with relationships outside of work, family responsibilities or having a child with a disability, there’s a high risk of burnout. I invited Crissy Mombela to episode 152 of “De Facto Leaders” to discuss this topic because she’s had lived experience as a teacher, a school administrator, and as a parent. Crissy Mombela is the Program Director for the REACH initiative through the Partnership for Resilience. She leads the REACH Communities of Practice (CoP). Her work allows her to be a thought partner and leader in the implementation and evaluation of the REACH Initiative, a strategic partnership with the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the support of the Illinois State Board of Education. With over twenty-five years of public education experience as a special education teacher and administrator, Crissy’s focus is on developing systems that support connection, innovation, and belonging within school communities. Crissy earned her B.S.Ed. with a concentration in special education from Northern Illinois University and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Loyola University. Crissy currently holds an Illinois Professional Educator License for teaching and administration with endorsements for directing special education programs and teaching English Language Learners. In her free time, Crissy enjoys traveling with her family, baking, and scrapbooking.This episode is the first part of our conversation about social-emotional learning for adults in education and healthcare.In this first half of the conversation, we discuss:✅What compassion fatigue is and why self-care alone won’t solve it. ✅Having a child with ADHD: What it’s like to be on the other side of the table as a parent in an IEP meeting.✅How to set expectations with your child’s school team so you’re an active participant.✅Reframing “discipline” in schools; and why it doesn’t have to be punitive.✅How to embed social-emotional learning across the day and why it has to be practiced “in context”: For both kids and adults✅The impact of giving kids the opportunity to contribute to their communityThe following resources were mentioned in this episode:The REACH Initiative at the Center for Childhood Resilience (Link here: https://childhoodresilience.org/reach)The Partnership for Resilience (Link here: https://partnership4resilience.org/)Dr. Nadine Burke Harrris’s work with Adverse Childhood Experiences (Link here: https://burkefoundation.org/what-drives-us/adverse-childhood-experiences-aces/)Dr. Mack Brackett’s book “Permission to Feel” (Link here: https://www.marcbrackett.com/)The CHAMPS Model for Classroom Management (Link here: https://www.amazon.com/Champs-Proactive-Positive-Classroom-Management/dp/1599090309)In this episode, I mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership  We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
If we try to make schools in the US more like schools in other countries, will that result in more effective practices? Why do policies work in some districts, but not others? Many ideas sound good on paper; but the people working with students or leading schools are telling a different story. That’s why I invited reading specialist Jalita Johnson to episode 151 to share her expertise on these topics.Jalita Johnson is a reading specialist in the Northern Virginia area and is also a veteran, wife and mom of 4. She completed her undergrad studies at Fayetteville State University, an HBCU near Ft. Liberty (formerly Ft. Bragg) North Carolina. She holds a Master's Degree in Elementary Reading.​​She is currently enrolled in a Doctoral bridge program at George Mason for Educational Leadership. Over the years, she has come to realize that she committed to being a lead learner.In this conversation, she shares:✅Being an agent for change: Why her military background gave her the skills and experience to lead reform initiatives in education ✅Syntactic complexity, and the disconnect between decoding/encoding and language comprehension✅Professional development and learning communities: Does one size fit all?✅What challenges come up when federal, state or district-level reform initiatives are modeled off of policies from other countries or states? The following resources were mentioned in this episode:“Hacking School Leadership: What makes Teachers Happy and Why it Matters to Students” by Erika Garcia-Niles (Link here: https://www.amazon.com/Hacking-School-Leadership-principals-happiness/dp/1956512446/ref=sr_1_1?crid=OW0WCCPY7Q3F&keywords=hacking+school+leadership&qid=1699901781&s=books&sprefix=hacking+school+leadership%2Cstripbooks%2C87&sr=1-1)Stacy Roberts, M.Ed, CCC-SLP, from Explore to Express (Link here: https://www.exploretoexpress.com/)In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/I also mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
This week, I’m sharing an interview I did with another host on the BE podcast network because I think it’s something you’ll really enjoy. The episode is going live in the De Facto Leaders podcast feed. Dr. Chris Jones has been an educator in Massachusetts for 22 years. His experience in the classroom ranged from 8th - 11th grade working in an urban setting. A portion of this was spent opening a high school division for an expanding charter school. He has just finished his 14th year as a building administrator. Chris is also the Vice President of the Massachusetts State Administrators Association (MSAA). True to his "why" of improving the educational experience for as many people as possible, he is currently the Principal of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, Massachusetts.He is the author of SEEing to Lead, a book that provides strategies for how modern leaders can and must support, engage, and empower their teachers to elevate student success. Chris vlogs weekly about continuous improvement and is also the host of the podcast SEEing to Lead as a way to amplify teachers’ voices in an effort to improve education as a whole.In this interview, Dr. Chris Jones and I discuss how school leaders and subject matter experts can work together to support each other. There's a big emphasis on the idea that we need to embrace uncertainty to improve personally and professionally. While I agree with this, I think it's possible to take it too far.In the K-12 world, I've seen many talented therapists or teachers continue old habits and patterns they know aren't effective.Usually there's layers of shame and guilt because they know they could be doing something more, or at the very least doing something different.Procrastination and not changing habits is often blamed on things like "mindset" or even character flaws, but many times it's simply a lack of clarity.If you're wanting to solve a problem in a classroom, a therapy room, or a school, the steps can feel overwhelming and all-consuming. Sometimes the end goal and how to get there can feel fuzzy.When you have a challenging task in front of you, some element of anxiety and uncertainty is normal and part of the process.But if you have absolutely no clue where to start or where you're going, being able to "motivate" yourself to move forward or do the work to change your habits is going to be extremely difficult.Imagine how you'd feel if you were stressed, frustrated, and nervous about something and you were told:"This is going to be hard and uncomfortable. I have no idea how long it will take. I'm not sure where we're going and how we're going to get there."Few people would be excited to jump in and get started in that scenario, especially if they knew they'd be left to figure it out alone.This is where school leaders can step in and help teachers, therapists, and other staff to see the path forward or put the support in place to make sure they get help along the way.Whether it be access to resources, trainings, establishing operating procedures for collaboration, or time to meet and connect. We might not need to see the whole staircase clearly, but we can at least get an idea of what lies ahead and make the first steps feel less intimidating.You can connect with Dr. Jones on LinkedIn here, and on Twitter here, and on Instagram here.  You can learn more about his book and podcast at: https://drcsjones.blog/seeing-to-lead-podcast/In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program for related service providers who want to take a leadership role in implementing executive functioning support. You can learn more about the program here. We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning. IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit myflexlearning.com/BE to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
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