Virginia Department of Education's Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC)
Teaching Team Engagement
with Danville City Educator Jasmine Bratton
Jasmine Bratton is an early childhood teacher in an inclusive classroom at Northside Preschool in Danville City Schools. Jasmine has a big voice and an inviting smile, but it’s the cohesiveness and engagement of her teaching team that really caught our eye. Her team includes a VPI paraeducator, and an ECSE teacher and paraeducator.
Jasmine told us that at the heart of this collaboration is "the trust and connection that has built over time among the adults". Jasmine builds collaboration by:
- checks in with the other adults to see how they are feeling,
- asks for feedback about how things are working, and
- incorporates their ideas in her plans.
To see the adults functioning together in the classroom feels like a very well rehearsed play with all adults working in concert. To ensure this continued connection, the adults eat lunch together during nap time and talk about non-work related topics.
This cohesion allows the adults to focus on building relationships with students. The adults get down on their students’ level and make themselves available during group times to provide support and feedback while just trying to have fun. Jasmine sings directions and expectations much of the time, and adults intentionally join in during activities to model language and social skills. "There’s so much teaching and learning going on in this environment the adults don’t even realize how hard they are working; they are just leaning into one another". Their connection and trust of one another has an incredible impact on the engagement of their students and the development of their skills.
Hacking for the Holidays
Our popular annual toy, game, and instructional material adaptation and student engagement workshop "Hacking for the Holidays" is back this year and promises to be bigger and better than ever as we are collaborating with the T/TAC at James Madison University to offer even more professional learning opportunities for our participants.
Date: Thursday, November 30
Location: The Jefferson Center (Fitzpatrick Hall), 541 Luck Avenue - Roanoke.
This free event provides educators, related service providers, and other school-based staff with the beginning skills necessary to adapt simple toys, games, and other types of instructional materials using common tools to boost student engagement. This year all participants will be provided with a simple toy and game to practice their hacking skills on, as well as the opportunity to visit stations to adapt and create materials focusing on communication, literacy, and environmental control.
Space for this event is extremely limited, so register today!
New English Learners with Disabilities Resource Page
We would like to introduce you to our new English Learners with Disabilities webpage, a resource hub for educators and parents of English Learners with a disability. We understand that each child is unique, and their educational journey should reflect that diversity. Our mission is to empower educators and parents with the knowledge and tools to provide the best possible support for these exceptional learners.
Navigating the intersection of English language acquisition and disability can be challenging, but it's a challenge we're here to help you overcome. At T/TAC at Virginia Tech, we've curated a wealth of best practices, strategies, and insights from experts in the field to guide you every step of the way. Whether you're a teacher in the classroom or a parent or a guardian advocating for your child's needs, you'll find valuable resources.
Our commitment is to foster inclusive and equitable learning environments where every English Learner with a disability can thrive.
The mission of the Training & Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) is to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of children and youth with disabilities (birth–22 years). This mission is two-fold; first, to increase the... read more about our mission