Okay. So don’t hate me. But as you read this I am currently sipping a pina colada on the beach in Mexico. I know. You hate me. I used to be so jealous of those tropical-vacation-spring-breakers and now… I am one of them. I am attending my friend’s destination wedding and then of course – made a sweet vacay out it! I will be totally unplugged (ahh!!) so I will catch up with all of your emails when I get back! 🙂
Now don’t you worry. I didn’t leave you high and dry with nothing to read all week. I had the help of some amazing readers to put together a selection of posts dedicated to collaboration. I have a ton of great information from therapists and parents. I think its important to get the perspective of other sides of the team to help us all be better collaborators. Please leave you feedback, ideas, and thoughts! Collaboration can make or break not only your work experience but a student’s learning experience. It is essential that therapists, teachers, and parents are ALL on the same page. We know we are always working towards the same goal but sometimes we get there in different ways. Emotions run high.We are talking about someone’s child, someone’s career, and someone’s livelihood. This real and serious. And we will get much more done when we are working together as a team.
My approach to collaboration is similar to what I talked about in my training paraprofessional post. I use the good ole’ principals of ABA and I little bit of sugar on top to smooth it all over.
My Collaboration Tips:
- BE NICE. Don’t you just hate mean people. So unnecessary. Honestly – if you follow this piece of advice you may not even need to keep reading (but read ahead just in case). This is a hard one to follow. You better believe I have days where I forget to put my nice hat on. But if you make a concentrated effort to be nice to the members on your team. It will go a long way.
- Use positive reinforcement. When someone is doing something great – tell them. Use praise – consistently and genuinely.
- Communicate. Don’t expect people to read your mind. Let people know of your expectations. Remind team members of changes in your schedule. I am guilty of that all the time. We schedule a field trip or special event and I totally blank on telling my SLP or OT. Oops.
- Don’t shot down other ideas. This is another hard one for me. If you haven’t read between the lines yet – I can sometimes be a little bit controlling. I prefer to think of it as organized and a perfectionist – but I know sometimes I can be controlling. And I think I am always right. Jeez – I am tattling on myself a lot today. I really work on making sure I am open and receptive to ideas from members on my team. I need to make a conscious effort to this. It (unfortunately) doesn’t come naturally – but I have gotten much better.
What are your tips for collaboration? What has worked or hasn’t worked??