FSA 620


View syllabus here:  FSA620 Spring2015

Here is a writing assignment I gave at the mid point in the semester.  Students often want every detail spelled out, they want to be told exactly what to do and how to do it.  I spend a great deal of time and energy getting grad students to take initiative, have confidence in their work and take risks.  In a very short time, families of children with disabilities are going to be looking to these grad students for “answers” and direction.  I feel strongly that they MUST move out of the passivity of “tell me what to do and I’ll do it”  (that is an actual quote from FSA 600).

In this assignment I push them and support them simultaneously:  directions for midterm essay 620


I also learned a significant lesson abut course evals.  The evals for FSA 620 did not make it from the classroom to the FSA office and their whereabouts are a mystery.  In the future I will do course evals the 2nd to last night- not the last night – and I will do them early in the class so that a pair of students can bring them to the office, drop them off and return to class.  I’m disappointed they aren’t available and expect they were positive. FSA 620 was an intense course, we talked about challenging behavior and had some personal discussions about rewards/ incentives/negative consequences/difficult students/painful experiences of failure…. It was a relatively small class (12 students vs. 28 in FSA 600) and the size enabled us to have some powerful group and individual conversations.  During our last session I left the room and students filled out the evals, then many students stayed to talk after the course was over.  After the last person departed I realized the envelope was still in the room.  Since the hallway was empty, I placed the sealed envelope in my box of materials and left to drop it off at the FSA office.  I stopped in the Cornish computer lab to see a grad student who was taking an independent study with me.   I spoke briefly to her in the hall since her class was in progress.  Then I went to my office to unpack the box – and the evals were not there.  I retraced my steps multiple times but have no idea what happened.  Did I really take the envelope?  I thought so.  How could it have fallen out?  I went over the scenario many times in my mind, walked the same path that evening and the following day looking for clues, and dismantled my entire office over the summer in case the envelope had fallen.  I have no idea what happened.