De Facto Leaders

Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan

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. read less
EducationEducation

Episodes

Using AI to write IEP goals and manage service plans (with Sean Klamm)
6d ago
Using AI to write IEP goals and manage service plans (with Sean Klamm)
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Becoming a literacy leader and advocating for the right to read (with Brianna Guild)
Apr 3 2024
Becoming a literacy leader and advocating for the right to read (with Brianna Guild)
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Therapy session structure, narrative language, and commentary on gestalt language processing
Mar 27 2024
Therapy session structure, narrative language, and commentary on gestalt language processing
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Debriefing, de-escalation, and relationship repair (with Crissy Mombela)
Mar 20 2024
Debriefing, de-escalation, and relationship repair (with Crissy Mombela)
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
The cost of caring: Compassion fatigue in education and healthcare (with Crissy Mombela)
Mar 13 2024
The cost of caring: Compassion fatigue in education and healthcare (with Crissy Mombela)
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Does your SYSTEM support your policy and your curriculum? (with Jalita Johnson)
Mar 6 2024
Does your SYSTEM support your policy and your curriculum? (with Jalita Johnson)
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
BONUS: SEEing to Lead: Seeing the whole staircase (with Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan)
Feb 28 2024
BONUS: SEEing to Lead: Seeing the whole staircase (with Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan)
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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Am I influencing or trying to control? Reframing advocacy and clinical leadership (with Candice Noss)
Feb 21 2024
Am I influencing or trying to control? Reframing advocacy and clinical leadership (with Candice Noss)
There’s a difference between influence and control. Whether we’re making suggestions to a coworker, asking a supervisor for support, setting expectations with kids, or interacting with someone in an online forum…we’re all attempting to create behavioral change. In “helping people” professions, it’s easy to get emotionally involved with our work. This makes it difficult to identify if there are actionable steps we can take to impact bigger, systemic issues vs. when we should put our heads down and focus on the work (or people) in front of us. Just how far should we go in trying to convince other people to act or think a certain way? When is it our job to speak up, and when do we hit the point of diminishing returns? It’s easy to let our thoughts spiral about these questions; especially when we have lingering feelings of guilt that we could be doing more.That’s why I invited Candice Noss to episode 150 of De Facto Leaders to talk about how educators and therapists can tame their thoughts surrounding leadership and advocacy. Candice Noss is a dynamic and passionate speaker and coach, renowned for transforming and elevating lives through her business, The Mind Body Spirit Trifecta. As an expert in cognitive behavioral therapy, along with her 20+ years working as a Physical Therapist, Candice brings a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience to every stage, course and coaching engagement.  By addressing the entire human trifecta, the mind, body and spirit, Candice provides a powerful holistic approach to confident, healthy living.  Candice liberates and empowers others to genuinely thrive which ripples into every facet of life. An elevated life elevates business.  Candice clarifies how to elevate performance with a mind firmly aligned, a body purposefully loved and a spirit powerfully accessed.In this episode, you’ll learn:✅Setting boundaries vs. trying to control: Why making this distinction can reduce burnout and create space for your “dream projects” ✅Allowing consequences vs. forcing compliance: Can and should you “make” kids do their schoolwork (or any other task they don’t want to do)?✅How to determine, “What is my job in this scenario?” when advocating for yourself or others, educating the public and/or coworkers, or handling disagreements. You can learn how to connect with Candice on her website here: https://candicenoss.com/ Also, you can check out her video “Self-talk: Go from CRAPPY to HAPPY with 1 Simple Brain Hack” here: https://candicenoss.com/crappy-to-happy/Listen to her podcast, Designed for Greatness with Candice Noss here: https://candicenoss.com/category/podcast/ In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, a program that helps related service providers take a stand for themselves as leaders on their team as well as for their students. In the program, I’ll help you create a comprehensive plan for putting executive functioning support in place on your school team by giving you the tools you need to influence your team. You can learn how to become a member here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadershipCandice and I are both on the BE Podcast network, a podcast network for educators and leaders who are making innovative changes to education. You can learn more about the shows on the BE Podcast network here: https://bepodcast.network/  We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Audiobooks, homework research, and the "read for 20 minutes" rule
Feb 14 2024
Audiobooks, homework research, and the "read for 20 minutes" rule
If the schools are devoting time and money to improving reading instruction, how should the rest of the day look for kids as it pertains to literacy? Should parents be working with kids at home? If so, how much? What about reading? Can we use apps to help build language skills? How about audiobooks? A common recommendation is that we should read 20 minutes a day, several times a week. I had a hard time nailing down a specific study that “proved” that this is an ideal amount, so where did this recommendation come from?I discuss answers to questions like this in episode 149 of De Facto Leaders.  In this episode, I share:✅Is listening to an audiobook the same as reading it in print, and will it make you a better reader? ✅If we can’t agree on whether or not homework is beneficial, how can we figure out what kids should be doing outside the school day?✅Why do teachers often recommend reading 20 minutes a day, and why did this become the magic number? ✅Will encouraging a struggling reader to sit down with a book make them hate reading even more? In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that teaches language and literacy professionals a framework for language therapy that builds the skills kids need to benefit from core reading instruction. I also mentioned the following episodes of De Facto Leaders for discussions on project-based learning and improving the connection between home and school:Do school leaders need coaching (with Dan Kelley): https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-114-do-school-leaders-need-coaching-with-dan-kelley/Cell phones, 1:1 device initiatives, and homework policies in K-12 Education (with Dr. John Burkey): https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-139-cell-phones-11-device-initiatives-and-homework-policies-in-k-12-education-with-dr-john-burkey/Becoming a school founder and empowering students through project-based learning (with Tanya Sheckley): https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-144-becoming-a-school-founder-and-empowering-students-through-project-based-learning-with-tanya-sheckley/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Unlocking success through sensory processing and team collaboration (with Maude Le Roux)
Feb 7 2024
Unlocking success through sensory processing and team collaboration (with Maude Le Roux)
When I first learned about the field of occupational therapy, I had a very superficial understanding of what it entailed. In the school systems, it seemed like referrals often focused on fine-motor skills related to school, like pencil grip. When I learned about sensory processing, I discovered that it’s so much more than that; and I realized how important it is for other members of both school and clinical teams to understand how each discipline can support each other. That’s why I was so excited to talk with Maude Le Roux in episode 148 of the De Facto Leaders podcast.Maude Le Roux, OTR/L, SIPT, RCTC, DIR® Expert Trainer, is an international trainer on a wide variety of topics and also the director of her own online academy. She opened A Total Approach with her husband in September 2001. Maude is SIPT certified and specializes in Sensory Integration as it applies to functional activities of daily living, including improving the ability of any child to partake in their learning environment. Maude has presented workshops in multiple international locations, as well as in the US nationwide. She has developed the Developmental Pathways Model (DPM) in reaching clients with different profiles with a wide array of diagnoses. She is well known for her work in Sensory Processing, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Reading and Learning Disorders, as well as Attachment Disorders. She serves on the board for ATTACh, an international organization involved in attachment and trauma informed care. She is currently mobilizing an international group of Occupational Therapists to organize the influence of trauma informed care in the occupational therapy field. Maude has published two books; “The Listening Journey for Children”, and “Our Greatest Allies” is available through www.amazon.com. In this conversation, we discuss:✅How can we bridge the gap between what’s “educationally relevant” and a child’s developmental level?✅Collaboration between private therapists and school teams: Why do relationships turn adversarial, and what’s possible when we form partnerships?✅Tips for helping parents understand the boundaries between “school recommendations” and “home recommendations.”✅Sensory integration, discrimination, and modulation: How our nervous system supports motor, cognitive, and language development✅Differential diagnosis: Is it a sensory issue, a behavior issue, or an attention issue? ✅Praxis, posture, and motor planning: How do these factors impact our ability to engage in goal-directed behavior during sitting, reading, writing, or other daily tasks? You can email Maude at maude@maudeleroux.com.You can learn more about Maude’s clinic, “A Total Approach”, at: https://atotalapproach.com/Learn more about her professional training for clinicians at: https://www.maudeleroux.com/You can purchase her books here:Our Greatest Allies: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Greatest-Allies-Relationship-Intervention/dp/0988328836The Listening Journey for Children: https://www.amazon.com/Listening-Journey-Children-Francoise-Nicoloff/dp/0987053604 In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program for related service providers that helps them put programming in place that supports executive functioning. You can learn how to become a member here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
High school language therapy: Do we still have time to make an impact? (with Tiffany Shahoumian-Ruiz)
Jan 31 2024
High school language therapy: Do we still have time to make an impact? (with Tiffany Shahoumian-Ruiz)
Language therapy often focuses on early intervention; but what happens if students continue to struggle with language in the high school years? Many SLPs are pressured to drop students from their caseloads or move to a consult-only model when students transition to secondary school.Yet that often means many students enter adulthood lacking skills that have a significant impact on their ability to access advanced education or job opportunities.  If students don’t have a solid grasp on complex syntax, they’ll continue to struggle:…Getting the “gist” of things and explaining/recalling past events.…Writing extended responses or forming cohesive narratives for academic reports, job applications, and work-related communication.…Understanding temporal or causal vocabulary that supports time-perception and future thinking.…Engaging in inner dialogue for strategic planning and self-regulation.Building sentence structure is NOT just a skill for students in late elementary school doing Language Arts assignments. It’s a LIFE skill, and students who don’t have a solid foundation will continue to struggle in adulthood. That’s why I invited Tiffany Shahoumian-Ruiz to the De Facto Leaders podcast to share success stories from her experiences with language therapy at the high school level. Tiffany is a bilingual high school SLP from Southern California who has primarily worked in the school systems. She’s also a member of Language Therapy Advance Foundations, and many of the strategies we discuss in this conversation are things I cover in that program. In this conversation, we discuss:✅What if everyone else is working on high-level comprehension, but our students still need work at the word and sentence level?✅Does therapy have to mimic classroom activities to be aligned with the curriculum? ✅Can we make a dent in language for high school students, or is it “too little, too late’?✅Will students be bored and disengaged if they’re still going to speech in high school? ✅How complex syntax can impact daily functioning and future career opportunities. You can connect with Tiffany by searching her name on Facebook.We also discussed the Expanding Expression Tool by Sara Smith, and you can learn more about that resource here: https://www.expandingexpression.com/In this episode, I mentioned Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy that supports syntax and vocabulary students need to thrive in school and beyond. Learn more about how to become a member here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
The six stages of financial independence for therapists and educators (with Ben Hockema)
Jan 24 2024
The six stages of financial independence for therapists and educators (with Ben Hockema)
In this conversation, Ben Hockema and I discuss how to create a solid financial plan in your career so you can focus your time and energy on the impact you can make. We discuss all kinds of possibilities; whether you want to stay in your current position as a therapist and/or teacher, whether you want to add an additional income stream, or whether you know for certain you want to start a business full time. We even talk about ways to explore opportunities if you have lots of ideas in your head and aren’t sure which direction is best for you. Ben is a Certified Financial Planner and the founder and advisor of Illuminate Wealth Management. He works with individuals, families and small business owners on their full financial picture; everything from cash flow and paying for education to saving and investing for big goals such as retirement, to individual and small business tax planning so that his clients can gain clarity and develop a path that is unique to their own goals, hopes and dreams. In this conversation, we discuss:✅How much should be in your emergency fund? ✅How much should you save before quitting your job and focusing on your business full-time? ✅Understanding the difference between debt, investments, and ongoing expenses in business and life. ✅Resources for creatives who love helping people, but are uncomfortable navigating financial planning. ✅Stability, freedom, and impact: How we can find the balance between all three. You can learn more about Ben’s resources for talking to kids about money here: https://www.dollarsandkids.com/, and his financial planning services here: https://www.illuminatewm.com/. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benhockemailluminate/, or learn more about the National Association of Financial Advisors College Affordability Project here: https://www.napfa.org/napfa-foundation-college-affordability-project. You can learn more about the Profit First framework here: https://mikemichalowicz.com/profit-first/. In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership 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. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Building financial literacy from elementary school through adulthood (with Ben Hockema)
Jan 17 2024
Building financial literacy from elementary school through adulthood (with Ben Hockema)
Executive functioning and financial literacy go hand-in-hand; which is why money management should be a part of any K-12 curriculum. Much of this has to do with self-evaluation, the ability to think into the future, and the understanding of quantitative and temporal concepts.There are endless digital tools designed to help people manage their finances, but these tools won’t be useful for people who don’t have a solid sense of the quantity or the value of money. That’s why I invited Ben Hockema to episode 145 of the De Facto Leaders podcast to discuss how we can talk to kids about money and help them develop financial literacy.Ben is a Certified Financial Planner and the founder and advisor of Illuminate Wealth Management. He works with individuals, families, and small business owners on their full financial picture; everything from cash flow and paying for education to saving and investing for big goals such as retirement, to individual and small business tax planning so that his clients can gain clarity and develop a path that is unique to their own goals, hopes and dreams. In this conversation, we discuss:✅How to overcome shame so you can teach kids about money, even if you’re not a financial expert (or don’t think you’re good at money management)✅How to have intentional conversations that help kids understand the value of money.✅Making money tangible: How to help kids learn the value behind the numbers✅What skills and abilities should someone have before they get a credit card? ✅How can families set up boundaries and expectations in their homes when it comes to responsibilities, chores, and earning money. ✅Helping kids navigate earning opportunities such as getting money for chores, getting a job, or starting a side hustle.You can learn more about Ben’s resources for talking to kids about money here: https://www.dollarsandkids.com/, and his financial planning services here: https://www.illuminatewm.com/. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benhockemailluminate/, or learn more about the National Association of Financial Advisors College Affordability Project here: https://www.napfa.org/napfa-foundation-college-affordability-project In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Becoming a school founder and empowering students through project-based learning (with Tanya Sheckley)
Jan 10 2024
Becoming a school founder and empowering students through project-based learning (with Tanya Sheckley)
Many people working in K-12 education have ambitions to start their own company where they have the ability to redesign the way student learning happens.The motivation often comes from wanting to create a scenario where they feel less constrained, more innovative, and more impactful.When I ventured into self-employment, I found that many of the “how to start your business” programs focused on simple business models that allowed people without a business background to become profitable quickly, without loans or funding. This often included things like coaching and consulting, or things that could be built up “on the side”, like selling online training or products. These can be great options, but the process is often like peeling back the layers of an onion. You start one project thinking, “Once this is built, I’ll have solved all the problems I set out to solve.”But in the process, you realize you’ve uncovered a list of additional puzzles, challenges, and questions in the process. Anyone who cares about education reform understands this feeling of wanting to do more, something I grapple with on a daily basis. Solving problems in education requires a unique skill set, and I’ve found it difficult to find people who understand both business AND education, who can support educators creating their own program from scratch.Private practice is an option many consider, but not as many people think about founding their own school. That’s why I invited Tanya Sheckley to the De Facto Leaders podcast. Tanya is the Founder and Head of School at UP Academy. UP Academy is reinventing education by customizing learning for each student, integrating project-based learning throughout its curriculum, and supporting students with disabilities to attend alongside able-bodied students in mixed-age classrooms. Inspired by the will, drive, and desire of her daughter, Eliza, who was born in 2009 with cerebral palsy, UP Academy is proving that it’s possible to celebrate differences, change what’s broken in the American school system, and provide all children with a rigorous, well-rounded education.Tanya also hosts the Rebel Educator podcast, speaks across the country on the future of education, and leads professional development programs for school administrators and educators.She is a certified yoga teacher, and enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, camping, and going to the local farmers market. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband Chris, two kids, black labrador Bean, and canine ambassador Harold.In this conversation, we discuss:✅Become a school founder: Blending the right mindset with the right strategies✅How much vulnerability can you show to your team? Where can you go for support when your team needs you to show up confident as a leader? ✅What is project-based learning, and how does it fit in with traditional curriculum?✅How to use experiential learning to build deep conceptual knowledge that’s engaging for students and teaches real-life application✅The homework debate: How do we distinguish between unproductive busywork vs. when it’s helpful to do work outside of school? To connect with Tanya, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheckley/You can learn more about her podcast, Rebel Educator at: https://www.rebeleducator.com/Learn more about UP Academy at: https://www.upacademysf.com/To learn more about Tanya’s availability for professional development program offerings, check out her website at: https://tanyasheckley.com/In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program at drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership. We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Developing a cultural competemility mindset for educators and clinicians (with Melanie Evans)
Jan 3 2024
Developing a cultural competemility mindset for educators and clinicians (with Melanie Evans)
Many clinicians are trained to focus on checklists and evaluations so we can walk in to work confident; knowing exactly what our protocols are. And while systems and processes are extremely important, we have to know how to use them flexibly. When we think about this in relation to cultural competency; we often think of eliminating biases in our evaluations and materials; but it goes so much deeper than that. We also need to think about how we interact with coworkers, how policies are impacting our students, or what’s going on in the community we’re working in. When we’re too rigid in the way we do things or the way we think about our work, we may unintentionally make students, clients, families, or even our coworkers feel unwelcome.That’s why I invited Melanie Evans to the De Facto Leaders podcast to talk about the concept of “cultural competemility”, and how it can help teachers, leaders, and therapists think about cultural responsiveness.Melanie Y. Evans, M.S. CCC-SLP is an ASHA-certified bilingual pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist licensed to practice in Texas and Oklahoma. She is also the founder of Pediatric Speech Sister, whose mission is to assist other speech-language pathologists on their cultural competency journeys and bring more inclusion in the field. Melanie dedicates her career to serving Black and Latinx populations and closing the academic achievement gap.In this conversation, Melanie shares:✅How professionals can better support black and brown children✅What is the school to prison pipeline, and what are some reasons it’s persisting?✅Why being culturally responsive is a journey and not a set of rules✅How we can “read the room” and ask better questions when working with both clients and coworkers✅What is cultural competemility and how can teachers and therapists apply it to practice?In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadershipYou can connect with Melanie on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanieyvonneevans/ follow her on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/@PediatricSpeechSisterNetwork and follow her on Instagram @pediatricspeechsister (https://www.instagram.com/pediatricspeechsister/)You can read her post on “5 Ways to Support Black and Brown Children in Clinical Settings” here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBWI-YNBOmZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==Other experts mentioned in this episode relating to the School to Prison Pipeline:Dr. Valencia Perry: https://www.speakwritethink.com/Dr. Shameka Stanford: https://www.instagram.com/drjuvenile_forensicslp/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Are we being too child-focused in our therapy planning?
Dec 27 2023
Are we being too child-focused in our therapy planning?
People working in the schools are often expected to make everything a priority all the time, without consideration of how they might be able to manage the backlog of projects. They have to say “No” to people who need help in the interest of saying “Yes” to others. They have to see the faces of the people their decisions are impacting. While there is an understanding that prioritization is part of the methodology in other industries and agencies, it's viewed with much more skepticism when it’s done in education. When teachers, school therapists, and school administrators have to say “No” they’re accused of focusing too much on test scores, being obsessed with funding, making it all about the grades and the standards, or not being inclusive and individualized enough for students. These concerns come with good intentions because they’re focused on STUDENTS. But how often do we ask, “What is the best scope and sequence for supporting the adults?”There are endless debates about what is and isn’t evidence-based, what is developmentally appropriate and reasonable to expect from students, and how we should design programs and services.Yet sometimes the research and developmental models don’t give us clear answers. Sometimes the “best” intervention plan on paper isn’t feasible (which means it really wasn’t the best after all). Making good decisions for students and clients isn’t JUST about what the research says. It’s about what’s going to help the adults get from point A to point B without burning out. That’s why I’m proposing an unconventional way to answer the question of, “What should I prioritize in instruction/therapy”? in episode 142 of the De Facto Leaders podcastI discuss answers to questions like:✅What are “child-focused” questions, and when should we settle for “good enough” answers?✅Core/content area knowledge versus problem-solving and application: Which is higher priority for teachers?✅Language therapy vs. executive functioning therapy: Can school clinicians address both? ✅Can schools borrow methods from business and tech companies to better serve students? ✅Scaffolded adult learning: What information and support do adults working in the schools need to do their jobs well?In this episode, I mentioned my Language Therapy Advance Foundations program that teaches SLPs how to create a language therapy system. Learn how to become a member here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ I also mentioned the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers put executive functioning support in place on their school team. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadershipI also mentioned the following De Facto Leaders episodes: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 122: Executive functioning for college students: Beyond checklists and planners (with Jill Fahy) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-122-executive-functioning-for-college-students-beyond-checklists-and-planners-with-jill-fahy/EP 123: Creating equitable systems for K-12 math (with Jonathan Regino) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-123-creating-equitable-systems-for-k-12-math-jonathan-regino/EP 129: Professional learning communities and curriculum reform in public and private education (with Tom Conroy) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-129-professional-learning-communities-and-curriculum-reform-in-public-and-private-education-with-tom-conroy/EP 131: What are tech and curriculum companies doing for K-12 education? (with Meg Hearn) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-131-what-are-tech-and-curriculum-companies-doing-for-k-12-education-with-meg-hearn/EP 138: Increasing access to instructional programs in rural districts (with Chris Dodge) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-138-increasing-access-to-instructional-programs-in-rural-districts-with-chris-dodge/EP 148: Unclicking success through sensory processing and team collaboration with Maude Le Roux): https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-148-unlocking-success-through-sensory-processing-and-team-collaboration-with-maude-le-roux/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
No, kids do not learn to read and write naturally (with Melanie Brethour)
Dec 20 2023
No, kids do not learn to read and write naturally (with Melanie Brethour)
Skeptics of the Science of Reading claim that the current push for evidence-based reading instruction is just another pendulum swing. Yet if you look at the research, we haven’t so much been “swinging” as much as we’ve been building, evolving, and expanding on what we know about how we learn to read.Even though the Science of Reading is “trending” as I write this, there are still many kids without access to quality instruction. Part of that has to do with teacher preparation programs and professional development available to teachers. Those responsible for teaching reading need to know how effective instruction looks.They ALSO need to be able to spot ineffective practices that actually encourage students to read poorly. That’s why I invited Melanie Brethour to episode 141 of the De Facto Leaders podcast to talk about her personal and professional transformation as a special education teacher and literacy advocate. Melanie Brethour, is a full-time resource teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is an advocate for dyslexia awareness and the Science of Reading. Her deep commitment to this cause was sparked by her son Benjamin's dyslexia diagnosis at the age of 9, which ignited a personal mission to understand dyslexia and support her and her students.Motivated by her son's journey, Melanie embarked on extensive research and training, achieving Orton Gillingham associate-level certification, CERI structured literacy classroom teacher, and won Nessy Dyslexia Aware teacher of the year in 2023. She gives presentations to colleagues, teachers and parents on dyslexia and the Science of Reading.Driven to help others facing similar challenges, Melanie established Decoding Dyslexia Quebec, a grassroots movement dedicated to raising awareness and providing support. In addition, she launched Soar With Dyslexia on social media, offering resources and information to teachers and parents navigating the complexities of dyslexia and the science of reading. Melanie also volunteers for Dyslexia Canada, lending her support to parents on this difficult journey and is a board member of Teacher’s For Reading Canada, which offers free Orton-Gillinghan training to Canadian teachers.In this conversation, we discuss:✅Ineffective reading strategies that are taught in teacher education programs, and why they encourage kids to be poor readers.✅Can you assume someone has expertise in reading curriculum just because they have an advanced degree? Why do educated people promote methods that don’t work? ✅The answer to common objections like, “But why do SOME of my students seem to learn reading “naturally”?✅How teachers and clinicians can make change from the “bottom-up” when “top-down” changes aren’t happening fast enough. You can connect with Melanie on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanie-brethour-a8155b200/ and follow her on Instagram @soarwithdyslexia (https://www.instagram.com/soarwithdyslexia/). You can learn more about Decoding Dyslexia here:https://www.decodingdyslexia.net/  and find out about Decoding Dyslexia-Quebec here: https://www.facebook.com/decodingdyslexiaquebec In this episode, I talked about Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program for SLPs and literacy interventionists who want to support the language strand of the reading rope. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/ We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Creating an intentional career and life with alter egos (with Meg Niman)
Dec 13 2023
Creating an intentional career and life with alter egos (with Meg Niman)
Many leadership initiatives in education need to come from the top…But change can happen when direct service providers emerge as leaders on their teams without waiting for permission from someone else. School administrators and other people making decisions at the district and policy level are constantly pulled in different directions. The further up the chain you go and the more people you’re managing, the longer it takes to make things happen.Good leaders WANT their teachers and therapists to come to them with ideas and show initiative. In fact, they often need their team members to show this leadership. But this can be scary to do if you don’t see yourself as a leader. When I first considered adding the school administration credential to my doctoral program, my initial gut response was “I’m not cut out for that” Seeing myself in that position seemed really difficult, and I don’t think this experience is unique to me. When people don’t pursue career transitions or leadership roles, it’s often NOT because they aren’t interested in the work. It’s often because they don't think they’ll be successful or they aren’t sure what their options are. It’s both a confidence issue and a clarity issue. That’s why I wanted to invite Meg Niman to the “De Facto Leaders” podcast to talk about working in education and the tech world, as well as the concept of an alter ego. Meg Niman (she/they) is the facilitator and founder of The Alter Ego Project. Her session, "Design Your Alter Ego: Who do you need to be?," was one of the most popular workshops at SXSW 2023. She works with companies as well as individuals to bring play, creativity, and curiosity to professional and personal development.Meg was a user experience designer for 17 years in San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia. She worked for Microsoft, Fitbit, LeapFrog and many startups. Prior to tech, Meg taught elementary school with Teach For America.The Alter Ego Project blends Meg’s expertise in design thinking, personas, and creativity with her passion for helping people pursue a more authentic life.In this conversation Meg shares:✅What it was like working with Teach for America and why teaching is the hardest job she’s ever done.✅How she transitioned from education to tech, and how to leverage transferable skills and experiences. ✅Why many K-12 education problems are really just “human problems” that also exist in other agencies and fields.✅How team members can separate work-related disagreements from their personal relationships outside of team meetings.✅The Alter Ego Project: How to use alter egos to decrease burnout, level up in your career, and live a more intentional life.You can connect with Meg on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/megniman/ and at www.alterego-project.com.In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program at drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Cell phones, 1:1 device initiatives, and homework policies in K-12 education (with Dr. John Burkey)
Dec 6 2023
Cell phones, 1:1 device initiatives, and homework policies in K-12 education (with Dr. John Burkey)
Learners in K-12 settings have changed over the past 25 years, and what were considered best practices in the 1990s may no longer work for learners in the 2020s.Much of this is due to technology, the invention of the Iphone, and the skills young adults need when entering the workforce.There’s a large amount of debate on how to address these evolving needs effectively, and that’s why I wanted to invite Dr. John Burkey to the “De Facto Leaders” podcast to talk about his experiences on the forefront of technology initiatives in the schools.Dr. John Burkey is the executive director of the Large Unit District Association of Illinois. The organization represents and supports 55 of the largest unit school districts in Illinois. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Northern Illinois University where he teaches aspiring superintendents and school business managers. Burkey was previously the superintendent in Huntley Community School District in Illinois for 12 years. He also served as a middle school teacher and principal earlier in his career. He has three degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.In this episode, he discusses:✅How the invention of the Iphone has impacted students’ mental health and ability to be engaged in the learning process.✅How do we address concerns about attention span while allowing opportunities to build self-discipline and allowing access to phones for unexpected emergencies.✅Considering learner needs, age, and brain development when establishing classroom cell phone rules.✅What questions should we be asking to determine the impact and effectiveness of 1:1 device initiatives in schools? ✅Homework policies: Why asking “Is homework effective?” is the wrong question, and what we should be asking instead. You can learn more about how to connect with Dr. Burkey at the Large Unit District Association website here: https://www.ludaillinois.org/ You can listen to his podcast for school leaders, Forward to the Future here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/forward-to-the-future/id1563555302 In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Increasing access to instructional programs in rural districts (with Chris Dodge)
Nov 29 2023
Increasing access to instructional programs in rural districts (with Chris Dodge)
If you’re providing therapy or tutoring services, contracting with schools, or offering professional development to K-12 professionals, you won’t want to miss this episode.As someone who has explored the possibility of school contracts, I’m always looking to learn more about how school leaders make decisions regarding budgets and staffing. I grew up in the Chicago area; which meant I lived in a community with an abundance of organizations, transportation systems, and districts with a variety of programming options. But when I relocated to a different part of the state, I found that the communities around me were way different than where I’d grown up. While there are several large districts near me, the surrounding communities were smaller, with fewer resources. Public transportation can be minimal, if it exists at all; which makes it difficult for certain families to access medical and therapy services. Some communities don’t have stop lights, let alone grocery stores or daycare centers. This makes it difficult for families to give kids a variety of experiences.School districts face similar challenges, because they’re less able to liaise with community organizations for field trips, after school programs, or educational placements for students needing special education. Serving high-needs populations becomes a challenge because many districts don’t have experts on-staff to conduct evaluations and provide specialized services. This means paying for outside consultants, service providers, and transportation fees for out-of-district placements. As a result, special education budgets for small districts can become unmanageable, putting school leaders in a very difficult situation. Cutting budgets can be devastating to all parties involved.Students may lose access to services, or at the very least need to switch providers.District staff have the burden of providing additional services or wearing multiple hats, adding additional responsibilities to their already full plates.What people don’t often realize is the emotional impact this has on the leaders who carry the burden of making these difficult decisions.  I often see negative comments about school leaders on various influencer accounts or in discussion groups. It can be very “us vs. them”. A lot of finger-pointing and assumptions about people in jobs that have an extremely high turnover rate (eg., directors, principals, superintendents). But I’ve yet to interact with a school leader who didn’t care about helping kids. That’s why I was so excited to talk with Chris Dodge, who’s had experience leading in both rural and urban districts. As lead learner in elementary school settings for ten years and currently the principal at the Thorndyke Road School is Worcester, MA, Chris works to create collaborative structures and systems that bring stakeholder voice into school level decision making, as well as strategies that promote student success and achievement. His schools utilize these systems to promote a vision of serving the whole child, ensuring that students' social-emotional and academic needs are being met. Most notably, in 2014, Christopher led the Dexter Park School in Orange, MA to become a MA Department of Education appointed Innovation School, awarded for its inclusionary practice work. Aside from the role as principal, Christopher has served on DESE's Principal/Teacher Advisory Cabinet, Commissioner Riley’s Return to School Teaching and Learning Working Group during COVID19, as well as on the MSAA (Massachusetts School Administrators Association) Executive Board. In this conversation, Chris shares common, but misunderstood barriers to school success that are prevalent in rural communities.He shares:✅Why transportation issues cause barriers to community engagement, educational placements, field trips, and instructional programming. ✅Challenges small districts face when hiring contractors and consultants, and professional development providers.✅Why districts cancel contracts with service providers and consultants, even when they have a strong working relationship.✅What school leaders look for when selecting a contractor or professional development provider for their staff.✅Why getting leadership training (e.g., degrees, certificates, experience) can be an asset to you, even if you don’t see yourself as a school administratorYou can connect with Chris on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/principaldodge1/, on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/PrincipalDodge1, and on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-dodge-a33343204/ In this episode, I mention my free training called, “How to be Evidence-Based and Neurodiversity-Affirming (by Supporting Executive Functioning)”. You can sign up for the training here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/efleadership We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 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 do the following and more:Simplify and streamline technologySave teachers’ timeReliably meet Tier 1 standardsImprove student performance on state assessments🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.