Clear job description needed
It is always important to have an organization decide upon single points of contacts, or perhaps better: specific points of contact. It would not only be strange, but above all unmanageable to have every organization member as an expert in every field. At the same time, every organization can value its own expertise by having the right person at the right spot. The person who delivers the added value needed to ensure that both the organization as well as its participants benefit from an inclusive support as offered within the organization’s specific context.
Second, transparency is also of prime importance. Knowing exactly what colleagues are in for, in terms of added overall value, will undoubtedly make their task easier. For example, knowing how, when and with what aim classes can be attended, classroom material consulted, etc. It can only contribute to mutual understanding and a further professional development.
(März, Snauwaert, en Prof. Dr. Kelchtermans 2012)
To set up and coordinate a school or music academy’s care policy, the staff member charged with this task should work on three different levels:
- Students’ interests should be represented
- Teachers’ interests also come first
- The school’s interests are equally involved
Amongst the issues that should be considered are the following:
- A single point of contact for every question related to the school’s care policy. Whether put forward by students, parents or teachers, at this point the school should be inviting and easily accessible;
- A distinct in-house approach on a cross curricular level and a regular follow-up
of specific needs with certain students;
- Organizing and implementing differentiated learning paths;
- Setting up and carefully maintaining a a student tracking system;
- Maintaining outside contacts with educational supervisors, and all kinds of specialist therapists, such as speech therapists and physiotherapists, day school contacts;
- A network of related individuals, services, schools and academies that allow further cooperation and support. There are always certain needs and opportunities that will allow us to compare and ameliorate. Every music academy and colleagues involved in care policy is bound to have similar experiences and knowledge that can be shared;
- Parent participation is always an asset.
- Offering assistance when a differentiated didactic or pedagogical approach is required, e.g. simple classroom setup or more delicate issues, such as managing particular conduct;
- Introducing a proactive approach in helping to identify possible issues that affect the teaching and learning process;
- Maintaining a joint effort to develop differentiated, remedial and compensatory schemes to meet specific student needs;
- Coaching and in class attendance that is above all collegial;
- Offering personal assistance in learning or context-related issues;
- Attending to specific in-class and outside classroom learning needs;
- Attending to pre-teaching and remedial needs;
- Attending to the students’ wellbeing, especially when emotional considerations seem involved. Of course, a specialist referral is regarded as an obvious back-up.
Music education as a partnership involves all stakeholders. Whether you are involved as a teacher, a parent, a speech trainer, a physiotherapist or in another capacity, we all want to contribute to a tailor-made approach in music education which makes the most of that great everyday classroom effort to join together music aficionados and aficionados of every walk of life and age in music, arguably the finest audience in all types of education. Surely, there is no better motivation to include a genuine surround system from a care policy point of view in your school/music academy/organization?
Go for it!
März, Virginie, Isabel Snauwaert, en Geert Prof. Dr. Kelchtermans. 2012. ‘Professionalisering in praktijk Evaluatie van het professionaliseringsbeleid van basis- en secundaire scholen’.