When someone considers preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, they can’t simply start cooking. They gather recipes, inventory their pantry, and create a timeline to tackle the multiple simultaneous efforts that will occur on preparation day. Furthermore, a novice cook will have a very different knowledge base than someone who has been cooking for their kids and grandkids for thirty years. We all come to such a project with a similar end goal; a lovely meal surrounded by happy stuffed friends and family. Much like cooking, schools come to Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) from all different places.
When I think of the word "culture," I equate it with traditions and success that live on forever through generations, celebrated, embodied, embraced, and most definitely something to be proud of. A standard definition of "cultured" is to be characterized by refined taste, manners, and good education.
This past spring, Branching Minds held a nationwide competition with educators, asking them “How has MTSS impacted their school?”
We had amazing entries from educators around the country. Each entry showcased how a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) has the power to transform the educational journey of students in every school. One of our entries came from Keke Powell, M.Ed., an elementary teacher in Texas.
Throughout my work as a teacher and then for years in educational technology, eventually, as the Vice President of Customer Success in the education division for a Fortune 500 education company, I lived and breathed education pilots and implementations for many years. I would find myself debriefing with my colleagues daily, discussing how we could improve pilots and implementations around the country. During these years, I trained my team, primarily comprised of former classroom teachers, to look deeply at each district’s and school’s protocols utilized during implementation.
As administrators and educational leaders, our intention is always to create and carry out well-developed goals for the upcoming year. We don’t just want to provide opportunities for our staff; we want to engage them, support them, and challenge them while still focusing on equity and accountability.
Meeting (meet·ing | \ ˈmē-tiŋ): An act or process of coming together, first used in the 14th century. (Merriam-Webster,n.d.)
This past spring, Branching Minds held a nationwide competition for educators to share their MTSS journeys. We received some truly great submissions from dedicated teachers across the country. The prompt for this competition was to answer the following question: “How has MTSS helped you in your job as an educator? Where and how has it made a difference in your journey as an educator?”
School is just around the corner and planning for next year has already started. This year, your school may be introducing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to better support all students. If you’re unfamiliar with MTSS, this new framework can at first appear daunting.
The internet is full of digital tools, software, and programs specifically designed to support student learning. A quick Google search for a reading program will supply hundreds of links to programs promising “fast results” and “academic success.”
You may have heard the old saying, “Many make decisions by guessing or using their gut. They will be either very lucky or very wrong.” Because of these wise words, educators have worked diligently over the last decade to learn how to obtain, gather, compile, view, analyze and use data to avoid leaving student success to being “very lucky” or “very wrong.”