Valerie Parrack, Middle School English Teacher
How long have you been in education?
Valerie Parrack: 16 years
Can you briefly describe your work with NeMTSS?
VP: Our school has been integrating Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) into our culture for several years. As we continue to build MTSS principles into what we do, we are finding how important it is to integrate all our systems into one to benefit students and streamline processes for staff.
How do you use NeMTSS principles in your daily work?
VP: Thinking about our population in tiers has really helped me prioritize student needs. Providing Tier I instruction to all students, and knowing what Tier II opportunities are available and when to put those into practice, has made me a more effective teacher. I am always thinking about how I can differentiate my instruction to help students be more successful and how our building can expand what we are doing to help students.
What were your feelings about NeMTSS before you began working with it?
VP: When I was first introduced to NeMTSS, it felt overwhelming at times, but I was also very excited. I am hopeful our district will continue to build our MTSS framework and for there to be more opportunities to collaborate with other schools and districts who are working within MTSS.
Can you tell us about an experience with a student that was made better because of your training with NeMTSS?
VP: I think MTSS has trained me to be a problem solver and know that every student can get what they need to be successful. I am fortunate to work with amazing administrators, school counselors and a school psychologist who are excellent sounding boards when we are trying to do what’s best for a student. We have worked within our Tier II PBIS team to look for interventions that fit students’ needs, and when we make a breakthrough with a tough student, there is no better feeling.
What would you tell educators who haven’t heard of MTSS yet?
VP: I encourage educators to get out there and find more information on integrating NeMTSS in their buildings. It can seem overwhelming, but it will truly make a difference in your classroom and school culture. You will feel more empowered as a teacher, have the systems in place to help students and know you are doing what’s best for kids each and every day.
What is a goal you have for yourself, your building or your classroom that MTSS can help you reach?
VP: I hope to continue to build our NeMTSS framework so we have a more streamlined process. I would love for us to create an online resource library for teachers — something I would personally like to take on as a project.