We created Diagnostic Teaching Teams (DTT) in partnership with New York City’s Department of Education to examine complex learners through the lens of different school staff members, including school leaders, social workers, guidance counselors, and teachers. Complex learners are frequently referred to as “challenging”, “struggling” or even “troublemaking,” and for any one individual trying to support their needs, the effort can be exhausting. The Inclusive Classrooms Projects works with many schools around the city to collectively brainstorm the structures that can be put in place to support all learners. This year, Diagnostic Teaching Teams have enabled a wide range of committed school staff across the city to engage in sustained, systematic, case-study analysis of students and then collaboratively plan structures and approaches to them at school.
TCICP co-director Celia Oyler and senior staff developer Anne Palmer collaborated and facilitated the Diagnostic Teaching Teams. Each school team included an administrator, a special educator, a general educator, and a member of the clinical staff (psychologist, social worker, or counselor). Some teams sent many teachers.