Hi folks! We are Bill and Bobbie Donelson, your May bloggers for CEC’s New Teachers Blog. Special thanks to Maureen Gale for recommending us to carry the “blogging torch” this month — and kudos to you readers for choosing such a challenging and rewarding career!
May is a month to put the finishing touches on your efforts with students, to reflect on what worked and didn’t work across the past year, and to plan for next year. We will share practical strategies that work in the schools. We will also encourage you to be energized and focused in this last leg of the 2008-09 school year.
We are a husband-and-wife team who have worked in Florida public schools for the past 25 years. We also have our own consulting company, Consultants for Positive Academic Outcomes, which provides targeted support and staff development to school districts and states at the national level. Most recently, we have published a school guide to RTI, Implementing Response to Intervention, with Shell Education.
Here is a little information on our background. . . .
I have served students and families for more than 25 years as a general education teacher, special education teacher, behavior specialist, state/national reading consultant, curriculum-based measurement specialist, and response to intervention specialist. I overcame my own learning disability and am dedicated to making life better for students who are faced with these same challenges.
My efforts in the area of reading received early recognition as a model program by the Governor of Florida. At the local, state, and national levels, I have worked with a number of colleagues in the areas of reading, curriculum-based measurement, problem-solving, and response to intervention. For the past decade, I served as a state-wide DIBELS master trainer for the Florida Center for Reading Research and University of Central Florida – Project Central. I currently serve on a district RTI project in Florida, which was chosen as the model site for the South East Regional Resource Center in 2003 and has recently been identified as one of five national sites for ongoing evaluation by the University of Texas.
I have worked as an educator for more than 25 years, serving students and families as a teacher assistant, behavior specialist, school psychologist, alternative school administrator, district administrator, state/national consultant, and adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University. I have served on numerous state boards, task forces, and development teams focused on professional development and policy related to Response to Intervention (RTI). Between 1995 and 2005, I served on a Florida state team that explored problem-solving and RTI at the national level.
More recently, I served on the Florida task force dealing with RTI and served as an invited reviewer for the respected National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) policy guide on RTI. I have also served as President of the Florida Association of Student Services Administrators and President of the Florida Association of School Psychologists, which recognized me as the 2004-05 Administrator of the Year for the state of Florida. Most importantly, I have been fortunate to work with progressive school districts and to learn from principals and school teams truly dedicated to improving our schools and the lives of students.
We look forward to your active participation and comments across the month of May.
Bill and Bobbie Donelson