Many thanks to the Worcester County Guidance and Personnel Association, who invited me to speak to their monthly gathering. Thanks to preparation support from Gwynne Morrissey, I was able to clarify misapprehensions for the 45 counselors in attendance and share completed DDMs written by peers in the Pioneer Valley. Viewing these examples helped counselors envision what is possible and see that the end product need not be long or overly complex. Guidance Successful Transitions DDM; Common App DDM; SelfControl SelfRegulation DDM
Apparently, many of their misunderstandings spring from trainings that presented conflicting information. They’ve heard from DESE, outside vendors, and district leaders. These misunderstandings concern not only DDMs, but core components of the educator evaluation system as well.
The counselors in attendance are doing important work with their students: one team is teaching the signs of suicide and how to address the topic. They measure student growth meaningfully when they seek to discover how much students have learned from their lessons about suicide prevention.
I emphasized the importance of measuring what counselors and their schools care most about while capturing data that is useful for improving their instruction.