Voices from the Field: TAPping into our SPDG schools

Submitted by Janet Zarchen, Technical Assistance Provider

Being a technical assistance provider (TAP) to SPDG schools is never boring! It is a complex job, and that is exactly why I love it. Here are some aspects of being a TAP:

  • Providing information. TAPs come from different backgrounds, have experience in different roles, and hold unique areas of expertise such as special education, literacy, or math. TAPs use their knowledge to support the schools to achieve the goals of the grant. TAPs also keep schools on track with logistics such as training dates, data collection, and required documentation.
  • Getting information. SERC provides all TAPs with training to make sure we have the knowledge necessary to guide the schools. We need to understand the content—PBIS, SRBI, literacy—and how it applies to each particular school. At the same time, we find ourselves learning something new from the schools’ own innovative practices.
  • Building relationships with school teams. Because the grant spans several years, we really get to know the schools and the leadership team members. Fostering change in schools is enhanced through building these relationships.
  • Helping schools, teachers, and students. The last aspect of being a TAP is nudging and supporting the schools in their reflection and growth. Watching schools and teachers change their practice and positively impact outcomes for students is the most rewarding part of the grant.

Published: December 5, 2014