Creating Teams of Learning Support with Julie Burgess-Dennis
June 2, 2020
teams of learning support

In many schools, students are pulled out of classrooms to receive additional support in speech and occupational therapy, special education, remediation in math or language arts, and other services. Sadly, this doesn’t serve students or their classroom teachers or create teams of learning support.

On this episode of the Education Evolution podcast, we’re talking to Julie Burgess-Dennis, a speech and language pathologist (SLP) who works as part of the team of consulting specialists at LEADPrep Academy in the Seattle area. She shares why a push-in model helps to build relationships between these “dream team” consultants and classroom teachers and why it helps children master their goals that much faster.

The whole-student perspective we get from this transdisciplinary model is vital in our students’ success and it’s something we rarely see in a traditional school model. Listen in to our conversation and think about how this smaller school setting, a micro-school, with embedded tiers of support can benefit the children in your community.

About Julie Burgess-Dennis

Julie provides speech, language, communication and social cognition services in the context of social interaction, play, and structured learning activities. Her professional training has focused on sensory motor processing, motor speech disorders, language processing, and social cognition. She is PROMPT© Level II trained, completed intensive training at the DIR© Institute and has attended many workshops focusing on Social Thinking© presented by Michelle Garcia Winner. Julie has also focused a great deal of professional development on sensory motor processing relating to sensory regulation, communication and language development.

Julie’s approach is family- and team-based, providing service in the home, school, and Under the Umbrella: A Therapy and Learning Collective. She values the collaborative process and enjoys working with all individuals participating in her clients’ social and academic learning. She offers evaluation, treatment and consultation services; all individualized to meet the unique needs of every client, family, and school.

Jump Through the Conversation

[2:21] Learning is social, must push-in support as much as possible
[3:40] Teaming to build systems and collaborative solutions
[4:22] How the push-in model has helped students and teachers
[5:18] How relationships and real-time moments are key
[6:30] Bring joy and relationships for fun and to add to the progress
[10:09] Autism: all learning is social driven. We need to help kids with autism engage and access their education
[10:31] We are focused on the behaviors we can see; we need to come back and look at the underlying factors that contribute to behavior and address these factors, not just the surface behavior
[13:43] Julie’s Magic Wand:

  • Would take the “ginormous” schools and pare them down. Concept of a micro-school where everyone knows each other. Small communities forge relationships and trust
  • Bureaucracy gets in the way and buries great leaders and teachers. Relook at the model. The system is segregated: change it and let specialists collaborate and become transdisciplinary; get away from medical model

[18:31] Maureen unpacks how specialist training and ongoing collaboration enhances student support and teacher understanding of learning profiles

Links and Resources:

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show.

Latest Episodes

Life with Passion and Purpose

The guiding principle of Education Evolution has been to light passion among educational leaders and to spark them into action. Over the last few years, I believe we’ve done just that. And while the work isn’t over yet, the time has come to put a pause on the podcast....

Unlocking the World of Literacy with Marnie Ginsburg

Reading is simple, right? Not for everyone, and it’s especially challenging for those who don’t have access to all the tools and resources they need to be successful. This week we hear from Marnie Ginsburg, founder of Reading Simplified, who has dedicated her career...

Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

The further away administrators get from their roots as teachers, the more they forget what it’s like to be in the trenches. The result is often either a real or perceived lack of empathy for teachers. Both teachers and administrators have vital roles in the school,...

Latest Blog Posts

Why Isn’t Educational Change Happening?

School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...

Instilling a Practice of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...

Building Interdisciplinary Learning into Traditional Classrooms

A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...


Coming Soon!


Listen to Education Evolution on Apple Podcasts
Listen to Education Evolution on Spotify
Listen to Education Evolution on Stitcher
Listen on Google Play Music

Related Posts

Unlocking the World of Literacy with Marnie Ginsburg

Unlocking the World of Literacy with Marnie Ginsburg

This episode explores the multifaceted world of literacy and emphasizes the importance of equipping our children with the tools they need to unlock the joy of reading, even before they step into a classroom.

Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming back author and educator Miriam Plotinsky. She’s sharing about her latest book, Lead Like a Teacher, and talking about what school leaders can do to build more trust and a more collaborative school environment.

Sign Up for Podcast and Blog Announcements
and Get our Free Guide:
Five Interdependent Hacks to Lead the Creation of a Learner-Centered Culture!

By providing your email address you are agreeing to receive email communications from Education Evolution.
You can unsubscribe at any time.