Teamwork - the combined actions of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient (Google definition)
This week, The Frenzied SLPs are all about teamwork. Working as part of a team can be tricky, and may not always be easy. Sometimes it takes great effort to make the team work. Many SLPs (like myself) travel between schools, which can make the "team" concept even more challenging. I would like to share some tips with you that I have found to be helpful in making it all work.
I shared the google definition of teamwork above because it paints a great picture of what working together as a team really is. It's more than just "working together." It's working together AND being effective and efficient. That's what makes a great team. The following tips are my suggestions to help build effective and efficient teams.
1. Remember whose team we're all on in the first place. Teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, SLPs, counselors, custodians, office staff...everyone is on the same team. We are here for our students. It can be easy to get lost in the "us vs. them" rut, especially in times of disagreement. If we can remember that we are all here for the good of the students, it will help us get through those difficult times.
2. Be willing to learn from others. Experienced SLP or newbie does not matter. We can all learn from each other. I have learned a TON from my supervising SLPs and more experienced colleagues, but I think they have also learned from me. We each have our own unique experiences and knowledge we can share with our colleagues. SLPs can learn from teachers, and teachers can learn from SLPs. Be open and accepting of what your teammates have to share. You never when you'll learn something new!
3. Make an effort to mingle. A lot of days I am behind on paperwork or stressed out about deadlines and difficult sessions, and I just want to sit in my room and eat lunch with my door closed. However, I try to eat with the teachers at my schools as often as I am able to. It's not every day, but I am for at least once a week at each of my three schools. This is so important because it allows you to get to know each other better, outside of IEP meetings and conferences where it's all student talk. I enjoy these times and it helps me to feel more like we are a team when we can relax a little together.
Those are my teamwork tips. What great teamwork tips do you have to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.
For more teamwork talk, click through the rest of The Frenzied SLPs linky below.