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Teaming. The Teacher & Paraprofessional Working Together for Student Success. Begin.

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Teaming

Teaming

The Teacher & Paraprofessional

Working Together for Student Success

Begin


This online experience will discuss the need for the teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationshipswithin the classroom.

Gaining an insight into key job duties, differing personality types, and the diverse communication and learning styles two educators bring to the classroom, are key components that must be united into one focus to achieve maximum academic growth.

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Structure
Structure teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

This professional development online course:

  • Will last approximately 8 hours;

  • Will consist of 4 sections (Job Responsibilities; Personal Style; Collaboration; and Unifying Philosophies)

  • Includes interactive readings with scenarios of classroom situations;

  • Will have Q & A sections to see how you are grasping the ideas presented;

  • Will survey your ideas & thoughts on the subject.

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Learning objectives
Learning Objectives teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

  • Job Responsibilities: Identify key job duties of the teacher and the paraprofessional.

  • Personal Style: Examine and identify personality traits and effective communication methods.

  • Collaboration: Recognize how teams with diverse personality strengths can effectively work together to facilitate a positive student learning environment.

  • Unifying Philosophies: Identify strategies that mesh two or more educational philosophies into one effective instructional focus.

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Rationale
Rationale teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

Collaboration is the critical component for successful teaming in today’s society. In all aspects of the professional world, we see the importance of team work.

In the academic world, two or more differing ideas, meshed into one focus, provides a powerful tool in the development, implementation, and assessment of positive student achievement.

Working teams combine different points of view to expand a vision of what may or may not be effective. It stimulates elaboration, sparks discussions, focuses ideas, and socializes our academic and social environment.

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Why is teaming so important
WHY IS teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationshipsTEAMING SO IMPORTANT?

IT ULTIMATELY AFFECTS A CHILD’S ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL GROWTH

  • Developing a positive and beneficial relationship between the professional educator and the paraprofessionals that work alongside them is critical for positive student achievement.

  • Gaining an insight into key job duties, differing personality types, and the diverse communication and learning styles two educators bring to the classroom are key to the development of effective academic and social experiences.

  • Building an atmosphere of motivational learning in a risk-free academic environment frees children to learn and perform at their ability.

  • Developing a positive academic, professional, and personal relationship facilitates a productive work place.

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Requirements for a successful instructional team
Requirements for a Successful Instructional Team teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

  • Identifies key job duties and related responsibilities;

  • Recognizing and accepting differing personality types and communication approaches;

  • Incorporating differing educational philosophies into one effective academic and management focus;

  • Collaboratively developing, implementing, and assessing learner objectives and experiences;

  • Identifying and combining individual strengths to optimize student planning and growth.

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Relating key job duties
Relating Key Job Duties teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

Before a teacher and a paraprofessional can become an effective teaching team in the classroom, they must first recognize the differences in key job duties.

State education agencies clearly define job expectations for the classroom teacher. While many of the paraprofessional’s job expectations are also clearly identified, options have been given to the local districts and individual campuses as to how they may best be utilized in order to support student achievement.

Relating these job responsibilities build the foundation of an effective team with a common objective. It is clear that the paraprofessional plays a valued and varying role in the academic and social successes of individual/s within the general classroom setting and under the direction of the classroom teacher.

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The instructional environment dependent on the iep mandates
The Instructional Environment teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationshipsDependent on the IEP Mandates

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Develops and Implements Effective Academic and Social Rigor

  • Directs and supports a risk- free environment;

  • Develops curriculum that reflects emotional, cultural, developmental, and academic needs;

  • Develops, implements, and enforces academic and behavioral objectives;

  • Continually monitors, evaluates, and modifies as needed academic and social progress;

  • Communicates and collaborates positively within the learning community.

Modifies and Adapts Instruction within the Academic Environment (Dependent on IEP)

  • Modifies and/or adapts individualized instruction according to student’s cultural, developmental, and academic needs;

  • Directs and supports students in a risk-free environment;

  • Facilitates student instruction and enforces behavioral objectives based on teacher design;

  • Monitors, evaluates, and modifies the student’s academic and social progress in accordance with teacher directives;

  • Communicates and collaborates positively within the learning community.

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The physical and emotional environments dependent on iep mandates
The Physical and Emotional Environments teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationshipsDependent on IEP Mandates

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Creates a Positive Physical and Emotional Classroom Environment Within the Classroom Community

  • Fosters engagement and interaction;

  • Develops and manages procedures;

  • Develops expectations and manages behaviors;

  • Develops, implements, and maintains a safe and productive learning environment;

  • Maintains environment in accordance with district policies and procedures;

  • Effectively communicates and/or collaborates with paraprofessionals and the community.

Supports a Positive Physical and Emotional Classroom Environment

  • Facilitates student engagement;

  • Monitors and enforces classroom procedures;

  • Monitors and enforces student behaviors;

  • Supports a safe and productive environment;

  • Abides by teacher and district policies and procedures;

  • Effectively communicates and collaborates with classroom teacher.

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Effective communication collaboration feedback dependent on iep mandates
Effective Communication, Collaboration, & Feedback teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationshipsDependent on IEP Mandates

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Effectively Utilizes Communication That Actively Engages the Learning Community

  • Uses appropriate spoken and written language skills;

  • Uses communication skills which promote interaction and feedback;

  • Constructs feedback and responses that guides academic and social growth;

  • Creates, organizes, and delivers instruction around clearly-defined objectives;

  • Promotes success through flexibility;

  • Continually assesses the effectiveness of communication within the community and adjust as needed;

Effectively Utilizes Communication that Actively Engages the Learning Community

  • Uses appropriate spoken and written language skills;

  • Uses communication skills which promote interaction and feedback;

  • Constructs feedback and responses that guides academic and social growth;

  • Creates, organizes, and delivers instruction around clearly-defined and understood objectives;

  • Promotes success through flexibility under the guidance of the teacher;

  • Conference and collaborate with the classroom teacher to determine communication effectiveness and adjust as needed;

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Professional responsibilities
Professional Responsibilities teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Legal and Ethical Requirements

  • Conferences and interacts with families and members of the learning community;

  • Interacts with diverse cultures;

  • Communicates and collaborates effectively with other members of the school community;

  • Continues professional development;

  • Knows and understands the legal requirements for special education, student and family rights, student discipline, and child abuse;

  • Effectively uses ethical guidelines;

  • Maintains accurate records;

  • Follow mandates for state and district assessments.

Legal and Ethical Requirements

  • Uses ethical guidelines in the teacher, student, and paraprofessional relationship;

  • Uses guidelines in relation to student confidentiality;

  • Interacts (within campus directives) with the identified legal guardian of the special needs student;

  • Effectively communicates with other members of the school community;

  • Continues professional development;

  • Knows and understands the legal requirements for special education students.

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Job duties responsibilities
Job Duties & Responsibilities teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

On the next few screens, who is responsible:

The teacher?

or

The paraprofessional?...

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Classroom management click on each to see
Classroom Management (Click on each to see) teacher team and the teacher and paraprofessional team to identify, develop, incorporate, and implement successful collaborative strategies needed to create positive professional relationships

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

The teacher develops, implements, and maintains a classroom/student behavioral, monitoring, and management plan. This plan is communicated clearly for support staff which may be working alongside the classroom teacher. This plan may be developed through collaboration with the paraprofessional if the teacher so chooses. The management plan does apply to special needs students unless modifications are stated in the student’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) and/or the BIP (Behavioral Intervention Plan).

The paraprofessional must comply with the classroom and student behavioral and monitoring plan. If the paraprofessional is working with one student identified as needing special services, the student’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) along with the BIP (Behavioral Intervention Plan) will identify modifications (if any) to the general classroom management plan. The student IEP takes precedence over the classroom plan, however. The teacher and the paraprofessional must share a clear and focused understanding of the plan for effective classroom management to occur. Classroom management for the paraprofessional also includes assisting with instructional and other classroom materials.

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Development of curriculum and instructional plans click on each to see
Development of Curriculum and Instructional Plans (Click on each to see)

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

The teacher is responsible for the development of instructional objectives, curriculum planning, implementation, and maintenance/ assessment within the classroom. Special needs students may be included in this setting with or without a paraprofessional as determined by the student’s IEP. The teacher is responsible for making modifications within the curriculum and daily lesson planning for any special needs student (determined by the student’s IEP). Paraprofessionals authorized to work with a special needs student within the classroom must follow the teacher’s lesson plans unless prior agreement is made with the teacher for an alternative method. The teacher/paraprofessional team is committed to finding the most effective methods to reach academic goals and objectives.

The Paraprofessional assists in the facilitation of the classroom curriculum, achieving stated objective given by the teacher. The paraprofessional may work with special needs students within the general classroom setting or may assist student learning in a modified setting as determined by the student’s IEP. The paraprofessional may also monitor student achievement and develop additional instructional strategies and materials as needed to meet lesson objectives (or as determined by the IEP and/or if approved by the classroom teacher). The teacher & paraprofessional team is committed to finding the most effective methods to reach academic goals and objectives. An effective team appreciates and uses each unique personality type and strength when developing and facilitating instruction.

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Perform duties unrelated to student achievement click on each to see
Perform Duties Unrelated to Student Achievement (Click on each to see)

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Teacher obligations encompass all areas of student achievement. Limited activities outside of this focus are occasionally needed and will be at the discretion of the campus administration.

Teacher obligations focus on student achievement with few duty requirements outside of that focus.

The law allows the paraprofessionals working in programs funded by Title I to be assigned limited duties that do not specifically support participating children. The amount of time spent on these duties must be the same as similar personnel within the same school. School principals must comply with the regulations controlling assignment of paraprofessionals through documentation to school districts.

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Translator click on each to see
Translator (Click on each to see) each to see)

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Unless certified in bilingual education, teachers are not required to teach, communicate, and/or translate a first-to-second language to students or members of the school community unless they choose to do so. Bilingual teachers may be asked to translate a first-to-second language in meetings or other settings when asked by campus administrators.

The paraprofessional may be used as a translator. This may include bilingual and ESL (English as a Second Language) classroom instruction, parent / student conferences, ARD (Admission, Review, and Dismissal) meetings, and other uses as determined by campus administration. Paraprofessionals must be used for special needs students needing second language support as determined by the student’s IEP. Paraprofessionals who are working with an identified special needs student in an English-only classroom may be asked to support duel language learners as requested by the teacher and/or the campus administrator. The paraprofessional’s objective, however, is to serve the identified special needs student.

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Provide instruction click on each to see
Provide Instruction (Click on each to see) each to see)

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

The teacher prepares focused lessons, plans instruction, modifies instructional applications, and develops assessments needed to evaluate academic and social growth for all students (including special needs students) within the classroom. Development and modification of instruction to special needs students may be a collaborative effort between the teacher and the paraprofessional as determined by the teacher. Collected data and frequent conferences and collaboration between the paraprofessional and the teacher will evaluate and validate academic and social growth as determined by the student’s IEP and the BIP.

The law mandates that paraprofessionals cannot provide instructional services unless they are working under the direct supervision of a teacher. The paraprofessional communicates and collaborates frequently and works in close proximity to the classroom teacher. Paraprofessionals will not be assigned to provide primary or exclusive instruction and/or care to students with disabilities unless otherwise directed by the ARD (Annual Review and Dismissal) committee. This information will be conveyed within the ARD paperwork.

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Provide personal assistance care click on each to see
Provide Personal Assistance Care each to see)(Click on each to see)

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

Personal assistance care and mobility care is not the teacher’s primary role. This role is placed in the special education services and may require paraprofessional skills. The teacher will provide routine personal assistance care and/or emergency mobility care as needed.

Nationally, paraprofessionals will spend 10% of their time providing personal and mobility care assistance. The IEP team will determine the paraprofessional’s roles and responsibilities when dealing with special needs students. Paraprofessionals working with a disabled student will be trained with sufficient knowledge and skills needed to meet the need of that student.

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Coach click on each to see
Coach (Click on each to see) each to see)

The Teacher

The Paraprofessional

As students are encouraged to construct their own knowledge through engagement in and reflect on personal, school-related, and work experiences, coaching has become a significant teaching strategy for encouraging such knowledge development. To help students learn in the way they learn best -through hands-on, experience-based learning - educators must be able to facilitate rather than dictate learning. They must know how to formulate guiding questions that will direct students to new discoveries about themselves, their learning processes, and the application of skills and knowledge.

Teachers and Paraprofessionals both coach!

End Job Duties and Responsibilities

Begin Personal Styles

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Crew member style inventory
Crew Member Style: Inventory each to see)

Understanding individual styles is one component needed for two people to effectively work together as a team. Before you can understand why other people do what they do or think what they think, it is important to recognize your own defining characteristics.

Complete the attached questionnaire - What type of Crew Member Are You? - and identify your own personality style. Determine if the listed strengths and weaknesses apply to you.

Click here to download and print a copy of the questionnaire for yourself.

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Crew member assessment inventory
CREW MEMBER Assessment: each to see)Inventory

  • Stop and Think

    • Using what you know about your personality type and learning/teaching style, what are your perceived weaknesses in becoming an effective aide or teacher?

    • What skills do you already have that you can further develop in order to be seen as an effective aide or teacher?

  • Would attending these professional development in-services together as a team enhance instructional effectiveness?

    • Your district offers a classroom management in-service.

    • Participate in an on-line professional development in-service.

    • Invite the district’s special education coordinator to your campus for a Question & Answer session regarding special education law and public education practices.

      Stephanie Blanck, Georgetown Independent School District, used with permission

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Personality Style: A scenario each to see)

  • Ms. Field is a third grade teacher at Clement Elementary School. John, a special needs student in Ms. Field’s classroom, has been identified as having an auditory disability. Ms. Lin, the paraprofessional selected to work with John, whose disability requires Ms. Lin to translate all verbal communication into American Sign Language during the academic day. Unfortunately, Ms Field and Ms. Lin have difficulties working effectively as a team. Ms Field is confident and has a powerful presence in the classroom. She meticulously develops lesson plans for all areas of the academic day. She is constantly assessing her student’s growth, collecting data, and modifying instruction accordingly. Inherently an outstanding teacher, she uses mistakes to grow professionally and personally. Her students’ academic and social accomplishments are “number one” priority in the classroom. Recently she was voted as campus teacher of the year. She is task oriented, focused, and structured and feels compelled to demonstrate her incisive abilities as a classroom teacher.

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Personality style a scenario
Personality Style: A scenario each to see)

Ms. Lin is also confident in her capabilities to facilitate instruction. Unlike Ms. Field, Ms. Lin is much more relaxed in the classroom setting, easily relating to John’s individual, social, and academic needs. Other students within John’s cooperative group feel the casual ease of asking Ms. Lin for help. Like Ms. Field, Ms. Lin is dedicated to the academic and social successes of her charge. She is quick to voice her ideas on how instructional development and its delivery should be made for John and for other students in the classroom. Ms. Lin has ideas that could potentially affect positive academic and social change but inadequately collects the evidence and data needed to defend her premise. Conferences between the two educators are brief and ineffective. She feels invalidated and devalued as a team member.

Can you guess which personality style do these people have?Go to the next slide to confirm your choices…

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Personality style click to see
Personality Style (Click to see) each to see)

Ms. Lin

Ms. Field

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End Personality Styles

Begin Communication


Communication
Communication each to see)

Identifying methods of information delivery and reception is a key component in the transfer of information.

Being able to distinguish your own delivery system and determine how it is perceived by others is important.

Spending a little research time on these communication components can alleviate wasted time and frustration in the pursuit of understanding.

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Effective communication
Effective Communication… each to see)

…the “art” of speaking and listening. Read what the

experts have to say.

Effective Communication - University of Maryland

Used with Permission

Right click to open link

Study this information; the assessment includes effective communication

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What is your communication style
What is your communication style? each to see)

  • The communication inventory is divided into 4 groups. Select one statement from each group that describes a characteristic most like yourself.

  • Total the number of A, B, C, and D’s. The letter with the highest tally generally defines your communication style.

    ____Achiever

    ____Persuader

    ____Supporter

    ____Analyst

Click here to download and print a copy of the questionnaire for yourself.

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Communicating with others
Communicating with others each to see)

Understanding communication styles will help us effectively deliver information to another person. It will facilitate a clearer and ultimately more productive interaction. Each of us has a preferred communication style that we prefer to use when we speak, and we understand most clearly when others communicate using that style. It is possible for the speaker to modify his own preference in order to improve communication. The way we deliver information can differ depending on the characteristics and needs of listeners.

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Communicating with others1
Communicating with others each to see)

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Suppose you are a teacher and paraprofessional team working to facilitate positive student achievement. Read the characteristics listed on the next screen. If you are a teacher, speaking to a paraprofessional using the characteristics listed, what communicative style would the paraprofessional fall under?


Communicating with others2
Communicating with others each to see)

The Supporter

The Achiever

The Supporter

The Persuader

The Analyst

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Communicating with others3
Communicating with others each to see)

The Achiever

The Achiever

The Supporter

The Persuader

The Analyst

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Communicating with others4
Communicating with others each to see)

The Analyst

The Achiever

The Supporter

The Persuader

The Analyst

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Communicating with others5
Communicating with others each to see)

The Persuader

The Achiever

The Supporter

The Persuader

The Analyst

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Communicating style a scenario
Communicating Style: A scenario each to see)

Think back to the relationship between Ms. Field and Ms. Lin. Each educator had a different personality type and differing communication styles. If these team members could gain a more thorough knowledge of these key components, how might they be more efficient in the delivery and the focused understanding of information?What communicative approach should Ms. Field take when speaking to Ms. Lin?

  • Use the Achiever approach of information delivery.

  • Use the Persuader approach of information delivery.

  • Use the Supporter approach of information delivery.

  • Use the Analyst approach of information delivery.

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Communicating style a scenario1
Communicating Style: A scenario each to see)

Answer

Ms. Field should communicate as a supporter because a supporter:

  • Delivers information in a calm, casual, friendly, and informal manner.

  • Actively listens and reflects Ms. Lin’s feelings and concerns back to her.

  • Shows appreciation for Ms. Lin’s efforts.

  • Presents ideas that are consistent with Ms. Lin’s values and high standards.

  • Acknowledges and values Ms. Lin’s ideas.

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Communicating style a scenario2
Communicating Style: A scenario each to see)

What communicative approach should Ms. Lin take when speaking to Ms.

Field?

  • Use the Achiever approach of information delivery.

  • Use the Persuader approach of information delivery.

  • Use the Supporter approach of information delivery

  • Use the Analyst approach of information delivery

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Communicating style a scenario3
Communicating Style: A scenario each to see)

Answer

Ms. Lin should communicate as an analyst because an analyst:

  • Presents information in a logical, step-by-step manner.

  • Pays close attention to detail (documentation), because if she doesn’t, Ms. Field will.

  • Appeals to Ms. Field’s logic, reason, order, and systematic approach to solving problems.

  • Expects to be challenged on assumptions, intuitions, ideas, and procedures and offer viable ways they could be implemented.

End Communication and Begin Collaboration

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Collaboration
Collaboration each to see)

Developing and implementing meaningful student learning experiences.

Teamwork, Partnership, Group effort, Association, Alliance, Relationship, Cooperation

These words define collaboration. A key component of any team effort, collaboration exemplifies success. Think about the world we live in today. “Think Tanks” are used everywhere developing the technological tools we take for granted. From the shape of our phones and computers to the names and colors that symbolize them, collaboration is essential.

Within many classrooms, however, the ability to share innovative ideas and successes and to provide and receive suggestions for improvement is a fleeting thought. Many new and innovative processes in the academic world are developed singularly and protected with the thought that sharing would negate due credit. Educators who take a different view know that in order to positively effect change in the classroom, working together, sharing, developing, analyzing, realizing failure, modifying, and starting the cycle over again are the keys to success.

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Collaboration positives
Collaboration Positives each to see)

making every effort to resolve difficulties within the classroom;

bringing in a 3rd party to moderate conflict and bring resolution;

identifying differences in personality and communication style;

failure, modifying, and starting the cycle over again are the keys to success.

identifying key job duties;

working together to identify weaknesses and needed steps for improvement;

focusing on agreeing on what is best for the students;

engaging in conversation that is candid, honest, and straightforward;

developing and practicing flexibility;

learning from and building on experiences;

defining any problem as a learning experience.

Take a look at the following classroom scenario. Decide how you would solve the problems faced within Mr. Dan’s classroom.

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Collaboration scenario
Collaboration scenario each to see)

Mr. Dan

Mr. Dan is a fifth grade teacher at Alamo Elementary School. After retiring from the Navy three years prior, Mr. Dan decided to enter the exciting field of education, hoping to make a difference in the lives of his students. Mr. Dan is a robust teacher who incorporates military experience into his academic delivery. Respected by the campus and community alike, Mr. Dan motivates and inspires learning. He is an active learner himself, gaining knowledge in effective teaching practices. An astute data collector, Mr. Dan quickly accesses up-to-date student information as needed for parent and administration. His ability to be a team player often lands him in district and campus duties outside of the classroom.

Twenty-seven ethnically and academically diverse students fill Mr. Dan’s small portable classroom. Of the 27 students, seven are identified to receive services that fall within the special education setting. An ARD (Annual Review and Dismissal) committee has placed these special needs students in the LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) of Ms. Dan’s classroom. Mr. Dan has each of these special needs student’s IEPs (Individual Education Plan) and puts a high emphasis on following the modifications and accommodations listed. Five students receive minimal special education services and support. The other two students have physical disabilities, requiring one-on-one services.

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Collaboration scenario1
Collaboration scenario each to see)

Ms. Lad and Ms. Mid

Ms. Lad and Ms. Mid provide services for the two students, attending to their academic, social, and physical needs. The classroom’s small size limits the paraprofessional’s abilities to effectively work one-on-one with their student. Hearing three adult voices within the classroom is a distraction for many general education students, and parents have voiced their concerns to campus administration. Ms. Lad and Ms. Mid have worked as paraprofessionals on campus for many years and feel qualified to advocate all academic and social decisions for their students. Differing in services performed, they unite in the view that their own students’ academic and social needs supersede those of the entire class.

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Two philosophies a scenario
Two Philosophies: A scenario each to see)

Communication between the educators is usually cordial and upbeat, but lately there has been a more negative feeling. The stressors associated with teaching added to the difficult working environment have made the once average relationship falter. Although negative feelings color the classroom atmosphere, Mr. Dan continues to present his positive demeanor while in the classroom. Both paraprofessionals, however, are quick to display their aggressive nature by teaching their students at louder levels. They begin to discuss the problem with other paraprofessionals within the campus. Mr. Dan’s calm nature infuriates the paraprofessionals and see him as openly dismissing their needs as educators and as members of the classroom community. Ms. Lad asks administration to place her and her student in another classroom. The student’s parents are opposed to the move.

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Collaboration scenario2
Collaboration scenario each to see)

How could this situation be salvaged?

  • Administrative transfer of one paraprofessional and her student into another classroom.

    No: This may help short term, but would not facilitate professional growth among all parties involved. When transfers become practice, students with or without paraprofessional assistance can be moved at teacher or parent whims. A third or fourth party can be brought in to moderate conflict resolutions. Every effort should be made to solve difficulties within the classroom.

  • Administration requires all three educators to attend Teaming, a professional development in-service, while providing substitutes and making any necessary student arrangements.

    Yes: By identifying personality styles, communication approaches, and the basics of effective teaming, these educators could begin to recognize and appreciate the actions and intentions (how and why) of each team member. Having a clearer understanding as to why others in the team say and do what they do leads to a more positive and productive environment. In addition, key job duties for the school year would be clearly identified allowing members of the team to focus on individual tasks and the successes of students in their care.

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Collaboration scenario3
Collaboration scenario each to see)

  • Principal requires all three educators to research and construct an action plan

    with the help of the assistant principal. The three will collaboratively identify

    the problems, the expected and measurable outcomes or results, and the

    viable steps necessary to achieve the goal.

    Yes: By working together to identify areas of weakness and the steps needed for improvement, these educators become empowered to put aside personal differences and focus on what is best for the classroom as a whole.

  • Ms. Lad takes the initiative to invite Mr. Dan and Ms. Mid to her home for a

    working potluck supper. Her intention is to present her colleagues with current

    action research on the collaborative process in the hopes of producing

    productive, positive dialogue.

    Yes: Ms. Lad has taken a first step in validating the team’s personal and professional problems and in providing a path to positive change. Through candid, straightforward, and honest conversation, this group will be able to identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Only then, can they begin to develop the structural foundation, which is vital to the team’s effectiveness.

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Collaboration scenario4
Collaboration scenario each to see)

  • No intervention with the hope that the problems will dissipate on their own.

    No: Education is an evolving, social profession. As society changes and our culture evolves, so too must the classroom teacher. Allowing ourselves an “unbending” and unaccommodating attitude will cause us to break when we are tested. Being able to flex and bend to the situations around us, using experiences to grow personally and professionally, allows educators the ability to try and fail, refocus, and try again. Educators are natural problem solvers. Our brains are in our heads for a specific purpose- to learn. Any problem that arises should be viewed as a learning experience. Remember Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb? Hundreds of ideas, hundreds of attempts, hundreds of problems, hundreds of failures, one success.

End Collaboration and start Uniting Philosophies

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One focus two philosophies
One Focus, Two Philosophies each to see)

Many individuals have never spent time reflecting on what makes a strong team. However, most people know the consequences of an individual football player’s decision to run a play that hasn’t been planned by the team.

As governing dynamics dictate, decisions must be made on the basis of what is good for the individual and what is good for the team.

Sometimes it is difficult to balance the needs of both the individual and the group. The following section helps one to learn how to achieve the balance and develop a successful team.

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Uniting philosophies
Uniting Philosophies each to see)

Often, team members have differing educational philosophies that interfere with effective team building. In order to unite two independent educational philosophies, an effective team must have:

1. a purpose to be together.

  • The team needs a focused plan that requires results.

  • The team’s successes need to be valued and supported.

    2. independent thinkers

  • To work as a team member, you must first be independent.

  • Independent people know what makes them tick and what’s important in their lives - values and ethics.

  • Independent values contribute to the team process.

  • If you can’t manage or trust others, you will have a hard time being effective on any team.

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Uniting philosophies1
Uniting Philosophies each to see)

3. a commitment

  • All parties must be committed to the team.

  • All parties must be responsible for a specific result.

  • All parties must take the time to get the job done correctly.

  • Each party must evolve their own ideals for something greater than themselves.

    4. equal contribution

  • Contributions make the team exciting.

  • Have a clear focus. Build on each other’s strengths. There is strength in diversity.

  • Develop a community. Every community member contributes to the objective.

  • Trust and be accountable to each other.

    5. a leader

  • The leader has the insight to allow the other members to grow and develop socially and professionally.

  • The leader validates and encourages differing ideas into the collaborative/evaluative process.

  • The leader communicates effectively with other members of the team.

  • The leader allows the flow of creativity when needed.

  • The leader demonstrates the ability to make mistakes a learning and growth opportunity.

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Uniting philosophies2
Uniting Philosophies each to see)

6. communication

  • Everyone should have a time to be heard without interruption.

  • Allows team members to connect with team leaders.

  • Emotional events usually make team members closer.

  • Allow time for informal conversations.

  • Time to be formal and time to be casual, but always professional.

  • Laughter- humor is often missing in the classroom.

  • Never use another person as a foundation for humor.

  • Teams can be fun.

    7. cooperation

  • Make the objective and goals clear to all team members.

  • Pool ideas of members of the team.

  • Work together in an atmosphere of patience.

  • All members have valued contributions.

  • No complaining without viable solutions.

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Varying teaching philosophies
Varying Teaching Philosophies each to see)

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Educators have come from many teacher training programs and have entered the teaching field over a vast range of years. Often teachers have a specific teaching philosophy and because it is so much a part of who they are as teachers, they are not overtly aware of their teaching style. We all know that the teaching field is dynamic. The more we teach students, the more we understand what improves learning. However, we do not always agree on the different approaches. Here are a few of the teaching philosophies that have been current over the last few decades in Texas:

  • Teacher-centered approaches

  • Student-centered approaches


Developing and implementing meaningful student learning experiences
Developing and Implementing Meaningful Student Learning Experiences

Teamwork, partnership, group effort, association, alliance, relationship, cooperation.

  • These words define collaboration. A key component of any team effort, collaboration creates a dynamic learning environment in which teachers and paraprofessionals work together to improve student learning.

  • In their own education, teachers were taught to work independently and to protect their new and innovative processes as individual intellectual property. However, educators who work in cooperative teams have learned that collaboration can improve their students’ learning. This occurs because the teachers and paraprofessionals are sharing developing, analyzing, modifying, and sharing their results.


Collaboration as a teaching strategy
Collaboration as a teaching strategy Experiences

  • In order to collaborate on a teaching team, teachers need to practice the ideas that we have already covered. They need to understand each other’s personality preferences and each other’s communication styles. Once the similarities and differences have been analyzed and are understood, each team member can better understand how he can fit into the group and make the most valuable contribution.


Assessment
Assessment Experiences

This concludes the lessons on TEAMING: The Teacher and the Paraprofessional

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Resources and acknowledgements
Resources and Acknowledgements Experiences

  • Alley, Ben, Specialist, Center for Teacher Certification at ACC

  • Blanck, Stephanie, Director of Special Education Services, Georgetown ISD

  • Chipley, Mary, PhD. Specialist, Center for Teacher Certification at ACC

  • DeHaven, Jan and Sherry Marsh. Collaborative Teaching: Working Together to Promote Learning! Region 20 ESC. Used with permission. (ParaEducator Institute)

  • Educator Standards and Test Frameworks adaptation @ http://www.sbec.state.tx.us

  • Effective Communication:http://www.health.umd.edu/fsap/communication.html

  • Engels, D. W., and Harris, H. L. "Career Development: A Vital Part of Contemporary Education" NASSP BULLETIN 83, no. 603 (January 1999): 70-76. 

  • Railsback, J. Project-Based Instruction: Creating Excitement for Learning. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2002. http://www.nwrel.org/request/2002aug/profdevel.html

  • U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. SPenSE Fact Sheet. Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education (2001-2002). http://ferdig.coe.ufl.edu/spense/instruments.html


Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements Experiences

Thank you for committing to being a better team member.

Two Drivers One Road


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