Collaborating with specialists, such as speech and language pathologists, can help you maximize a student’s progress. When everyone working with a student is on the same page, you have the opportunity to reinforce and practice skills in different settings and with different people. Some schools have regular meetings, some make a point to stop by someone’s office.
The key to collaborating with specialists in your building is to communicate and communicate consistently.
Collaborating with other specialists in your building is so important! One of my favorite ways to do this is to check in at least once a week.
I usually like to briefly talk about the students that are on both of our caseloads. I can get updated on the progress they are making with the specialist, and the specialist can be updated on the progress they are making with me.
Similar to the teachers, when the specialists know which specific skills you are working on with students, they can help you reinforce them. Having a weekly check-in also gives us time to work together and brainstorm for any challenges that we are having with particular students. I have found this collaboration to be invaluable, especially when working with students who are particularly challenging!
I am lucky to work with an amazing group of specialists. While many of them are only in our building once or twice a week for a small portion of the day, we do check in with one another and email is a great way to share info and ideas.
Our SLP has great ideas for helping me to work with a student in our building who has selective mutism. She’ll share articles, links, and resources that will help if she knows that I don’t have them.
Our mental health team meets weekly for about 2 hours. It’s a great check in to see where referrals are, who can do a classroom observation, who can meet with a student, and generate ideas when working with students with intensive needs.
The best tip I can give anyone about working with specialists is to communicate regularly, whether you see the specialist or not. Set up an automated email that goes out once a week, once a month, or once a quarter as a check-in. It doesn’t have to say much, but a “how’s it going with our student?” can go a long way.
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