Finding Time to Meet as an IEP Team

Working as an educational team is my favorite part of working in schools. I have made the greatest friends with the teams we have created and learning from each of the amazing experts I have had the opportunity to work with is invaluable. We are all important people within the educational team of our learners, including the families, but time to meet is limited. In this post, I will share creative ways that I meet with my teammates and what is important to discuss! 

Agendas and Trainings 

There are times we have found to be more informal conversations or debriefs from a day. Most times we were able to get together, including agendas. They don’t have to be formal, but the digital agenda gives us an opportunity to add ideas before a meeting and take notes during the meeting so we’re all clear on next steps. A few topics that are agenda items are student goals, accommodations, and modifications. We review the reality of strategies and supports that we have in place to be sure they’re happening with fidelity and that they’re working. Communication is key when working as a team and note taking helps consistency throughout! One key to staying on task is to discuss one learner at a time. Of course there are moments when it is necessary to talk about a class or case load as a whole, but typically one learner at a time works best. During these conversations, we also figure out if there is anything that may require additional training, specifically using Behavior Skills Training for anyone on the team, including myself. Behavior skills training is an evidence-based practice that follows a train-the-trainer model. There are four steps to behavior skills training our instruction. The steps are instruction, modeling, rehearsal. And feedback.

Finding time to train staff 

Finding time that works in the whole team schedule is difficult. It is not the easiest, but it is very important! There are times when a few of us get time to meet and we are always sure to update the rest of the team if this happens and what was discussed. We continue to look at all of our schedules and review the next month coming up to find where there may be hidden planning time. It may seem impossible in the beginning, however, when we go into determined and confident in finding a time, we can. Some options that we find are when the class is in music, PE, lunch/recess, assemblies, etc. We also look at days where maybe we can get substitutes or meet during our lunch times. Occasionally, meeting after school works best, but there are a majority of days where we can connect throughout the school day. After school may not be everyone’s first choice, however, if you talk with your administration about getting paid for meeting outside of work hours, that is a benefit. Another benefit is having the ability to meet with the entire team in a quiet room without interruptions.

Using The Autism Helper membership as a training tool 

The membership enrollment is open! These videos and resources are a great tool to help train teammates and bring up conversations about particular learners. The resources that you get in the membership include exclusive resources that can be used immediately. Being a part of the membership gives me access to everything that I need to be a better educator and team leader!  

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