You are in for a treat! For the first time ever, Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker interview have two guests for one episode! In today's episode, Marcee Wilbrun and Jolly Piersall are the Director and Project Coordinator at the Indiana IEP Resource Center.
Tune in as Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker honor, celebrate, and reflect on their careers, and the Council of Exceptional Education (CEC) 's past 100 years while also thinking ahead to the future. Don't forget we love to hear from our listeners! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We look forward to receiving your questions on our Google Phone (407) 900- 9305, Facebook (Practical Access), Twitter (@AccessPractical), or Instagram (@Practical_Access).
Lisa Dieker 0:07
Welcome to practical access. I'm Lisa Dicker.
Rebecca Hines 0:10
And I'm Rebecca Heinz. And Lisa, today we have a first ever I know we have a first ever two people on the podcast at the same time. Four of us can't wait, do we have our friends with us today? Marcy and jolly welcome both of you.
Marcee Wilburn 0:28
Unknown Speaker 0:29
Yeah, we're excited to have you. So we have with us Marcy Wilbert, who is Project Coordinator and jolly parasol, who is the director of they both work at the Indiana IEP Resource Center. So we're so excited. You're with us.
Jolly Piersall 0:45
Good to be here.
Lisa Dieker 0:45
Yay. Oh, well. So we're here at the conference. And I, first of all, thank you for your service in all the work you've done, as both teachers and in making this week happen. So we're going to start with a question. It's the 100th anniversary, you both have had a lot of impact as not just teacher practitioners, but you really have been teacher practitioner leaders. So what are you most proud of or feel like the greatest impact in the work you've done to this point,
Marcee Wilburn 1:15
One thing I would say in the state of Indiana,probably 10 years ago, we were asked to, or charged with moving Indiana to understand what inclusion is and start moving that direction, because we were so far behind most other states. And we started a Focus on Inclusion Conference 10 years ago, which I can say we're happy that both of you.
Jolly Piersall 1:43
It was a privilege. And this year will be our 10th year, yay. And we went from where it was a conference for just basically special educators and administrators. And now it's very much equal, as far as gen ed and special ed are like, so we feel like we we have worked really hard to make sure they understand. We can't be in silos anymore. We have to work together for all kids. I mean, our charge is for students with disabilities. But anything that we want to improve for students with disabilities is going to have to be good for all kids. So and I think though, one thing that we feel like we've made, the most difference is just basic knowledge and recognition. And now we see, I would say the majority of the districts, at least know what it is, and know what they should be doing, even if they aren't doing it. And some of them are attempting to do it. And we do a lot of technical assistance to support them in that.
Rebecca Hines 2:51
And really, I think
Unknown Speaker 2:56
you'll we see at the conference, teams coming from District sent in schools and using that time to plan and figure out how are we going to go back and change what we need to change. We realize now we're doing it wrong, you know, we need we need to fix this and tell them you're not doing it wrong. It's just you didn't know, you know what else to do?
Lisa Dieker 3:19
Merci, thanks. So when we're talking about just professional accomplishments, for myself, I think that
Marcee Wilburn 3:27
going back to when I was a teacher, and just the impact on the students and the families with whom I worked, and having the opportunity to really get to know those students form those strong bonds and relationships. And those students that maybe were a struggle to work with, either academically or behaviorally, when you change positions, they showed up at your classroom door when you're down the hall and in a different classroom. And that was so meaningful to me. And it just showed that over time, like I did make an impact or, you know, a couple years ago, I had a student reach out to me and say, I don't know that I would have graduated high school without you. And so those types of stories and those connections that come back, you know that you impacted a student's life directly. And as Adam signs would say, the power of a teacher is so much and I think just recognizing that as educators, we have so much power in order to really be the champion for students that we serve. And I think as a practitioner, I was able to do that in the classrooms that I worked in. But now as a technical assistance provider, I have the opportunity to help schools and help districts best serve students that we work with. So now it's on a different level. And sometimes I miss that connection with students, but I have a similar connections with the district leadership teams or the school based leadership teams with whom I work. So that's really the impact for me is really to the ultimate goal is to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and to improve instruction for those students within the classroom. And I've been able to do that not only as a teacher, but as a technical assistance provider in the field as well.
Rebecca Hines 4:57
Well, we know the great work you guys have done
And in bringing our professional long and your colleagues along. And we're also aware that a lot of times, you know, change comes in, it feels like silos, you know. So even when there's resources available, we don't always get everybody jumping on board to reach out and utilize them. So I'm just curious, Jolly, maybe since you've been doing this a minute.
Lisa Dieker 5:25
What can we do to get our colleagues to come to take advantage of those resources that are out there? What do you think that what advice would you give to teachers? How do we get people on board? Well, I think one thing that we do in the beginning, especially if we have people that we feel are resistant, or, you know,
they'll say, Well, I don't think I should have these kids in my class, or I'm not trained to, you know, to work with these kids.
Jolly Piersall 5:57
I always ask them, Do you believe all kids can learn. And if you believe all kids can learn, then you you need to be making the effort for all kids. And it's not all kids can learn. But all kids can learn, right? And we lost him, as we say, All means all. And I think helping them to see, as a teacher, that's your responsibility. Those kids deserve to have access to good quality education, they good instruction, and access to whatever they need to help them be successful, whatever they need. And that's not just students with disabilities, that's all kids. Right. So that's kind of, I don't think you can argue with that. And then if they still do, then we bring in the data, the show that students with disabilities, even if they're just sitting in the classroom, they are going to learn more than they're then sitting in your self contained room. I think that's a really hard concept, sometimes for special educators to embrace. And I've taught in both settings, you know, so I get it. Marcy, you mentioned that a lot of your your personal satisfaction has come from the classroom, I think everybody, a lot of us in higher ed feel the same way. When we look back, we're like, wow, I still felt so impactful. And when I was in front of the kids, when you think about your, your peers and your colleagues, you know, who are teaching right now?
Lisa Dieker 7:25
What do you what do you think those who believe that the inclusive setting is a good one for students? What do you think we can do to help compel them on a really personal level,
Unknown Speaker 7:36
to to accept students with differences in those those Gen Ed seeds?
Marcee Wilburn 7:41
I think what I found in the past is when teachers are maybe not accepting of students with disabilities, or students who struggle academically or behaviorally whether they have a disability or not, I think part of the struggle becomes them not having the knowledge base or the skill set in order to feel competent in the position that they have. And so how do we make sure that teachers have the training, and the follow up and the support to be successful with students, and I think that's so important, and, and we say, often a one and done training is not going to do it, there needs to be some training, some modeling, some coaching, some follow up, in order for our teachers to be successful. And once they have a glimmer of success with one student, I truly think that can completely change the mindset of the individual with whom you're working, but they have to have the ability to, to have that experience and those positive experiences, because my guess is at this point, they probably haven't had those experience. And so how can we help shape the environment so that they can be successful, just as we would for our students? I love it. So thinking forward, now, you've all seen such a shift and a change in your field? Where do you hope in the next 1050 100, you pick, how many years? Do you hope? What would you hope to see? Can you just kind of describe what you hope the future is? Well, I, I hope it would be tomorrow, but I know it won't be
Unknown Speaker 9:03
where there was, I would like to see it. You know, in the near future, where we don't have inclusion classrooms, where we don't walk into a school and see an intervention desk in the hallway. I made it where if you have to say those things, then you're not really doing them. And I'd like to see where all kids when they get off the bus. They all go through the front door, not the special ed door around behind for the special ed kids and just where the not just the school, but the community is inclusive,
Unknown Speaker 9:38
which is going to take a lot of work. I know it's a big ask, but that's where we need to be. Love it or see.
Rebecca Hines 9:47
Within our work, we talk a lot about the evolution of inclusion and I think Shelley Moore paints a wonderful picture when she talks about inclusion from you know, when we had students who are educated and institutions all the way till now when students are at
Lisa Dieker 10:00
Decatur within their homeschool and oftentimes integrated within the gen ed setting. But what does that true inclusion look like? And she makes a statement that I think is so impactful, that we aren't truly doing inclusion until we can start talking about doing inclusion, right. And so I think that's my dream that students with and without disabilities, who bring all of their strengths and, you know, barriers to learning come together and are educated in one place. And we're providing the services and supports that they need in order to improve outcomes and ensure their success over time. That's my dream of education. I love it. Well, we really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule this week and for your leadership in in really rolling up your sleeves and making a difference for teachers and kids on a daily basis. So thank you for joining us, jolly and Marcy, and if you have questions, please send us a Tweet at Access practical, or you can post a question on our Facebook page at practical access. Thank you again to both of you.
Rebecca Hines 11:01
Thank you both for your work and your support. So much