Middle Childhood Intervention: Module Four – Putting it all Together

Category — Step Six

Step Six

What about the school-based team? How do i work and collaborate with them?

Working with a school-based team may seem difficult at times. After all, these are the professionals. These are the experts. These are the people who went to school for a number of years, and attended all kinds of workshops  to learn about the special need that your child has. You must always remember that you are an expert too. You know your child best, and that makes you just as much of an expert as they are. Another important thing to remember is that you and your child’s school-based team are on the same side. You may not agree on how to proceed towards the next step in your child’s educational life. You may not agree on what works best for your child. And you may not agree on how far your child will go in his or her educational or developmental journey. But you can all probably agree on one thing: you all want what is best for your child and you all want this child to succeed (Fig. 1). People who go into education, child development, early intervention and special education fields are a special group of people. They want to work with other people. They want to help children. They have chosen careers that may not pay well and that often go unappreciated.

girls in the classroom

Figure 1. Students

Sometimes we hear seriously uninformed individuals say that all early childhood education teachers do is “babysit” children.

But we know that this is not true. We know that the vast majority of teachers are extremely dedicated individuals who work very hard, and who often take the job home. Many of them are people who are under-appreciated. And yet many of them continue to do what they do, often with extremely limited funding, and even more limited resources. This is the group of people with whom you will be working and collaborating. They are your allies. They are there to help you and your child. You may not always agree on everything, but you all have one goal in common: offering your child the best that can be offered.

Here are a few ways you can make working and collaborating with the school-based team or any intervention team more successful, more effective, more efficient and even more enjoyable:

  • Try to keep in mind that the team is here to help you and your child. Listen to what they have to say. You do not have to follow through with what they say if it does not make sense to you. But do listen to them. See where they are coming from. They may offer you a solution or suggestion that you may not have thought of yourself;
  • Let them know how you feel about what they have to offer. Be honest. Communication is best when it is open and genuine. Do not be afraid to disagree with what they have to say. Let them know that you are not disagreeing with them, but you are disagreeing with what they are saying. In other words, this is not about them or you. It’s not personal. This is about what methods will work best for your child;
  • Come to meetings prepared. Make a list of everything you wish to discuss with the team. If you can mail or email them a copy of what you would like to discuss at the meeting ahead of time;
  • Be ready for disagreements. They are a natural part of any honest and open discussion. Disagreement often means real communication. Hopefully, you and your child’s school-based team will reach an understanding.

Resources: Multicultural worker support and translation services are available for most districts – Canadian Ministry of Education

January 19, 2013   No Comments