NJEA 2013 - Effective parent collaboration to support students with disabilities


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Participants will learn a variety of strategies to promote effective collaboration between parents and staff in order to boost classroom success for students with disabilities.

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  • A. Example of this
  • A. Example of this.
  • Examples: African families I worked with. Supervising individual that had negative opinion of 20 year old parent and their playing grand theft auto in front of the child.
  • Example: Independence
  • Are these assumptions or facts? Are they true?
  • Note: example about disagreements – Use CM (McG)
  • NJEA 2013 - Effective parent collaboration to support students with disabilities

    1. 1. Effective Parent Collaboration to Support Students with Disabilities Nicole Coneby, LSW, BCBA Assistant Director Beautiful Minds of Princeton director_familyservices@comcast.net www.beautifulmindsofprinceton.com
    2. 2. Introductions   Who am I Who are you ◦ Job position (Teacher, Related Service, Para, etc) ◦ Age range of students ◦ Placement (Self-contained, Resource, In class)  What do you hope to learn today  All of today’s slides will be available online via Slideshare and Facebook. You can also email me for more details on some of the strategies talked about.
    3. 3. What is collaboration? Technical definition – A style for direct interaction between at least two co-equal parties voluntarily engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal (Friend & Cook, 2007)  Refers to how you interact with others, not what you are doing  Occurs when members work together as equals to assist students to succeed in the classroom.  All feel their contributions are valued and goals are clear 
    4. 4. Collaboration is voluntary You can choose how much or how little you engage in this process  Are you a collection of individuals, or will you blend talents and create new, teaching possibilities. 
    5. 5. We all have equal value Everyone has a unique perspective on how to successfully reach the student.  This unique perspective must be shared and valued. 
    6. 6. Requires mutual goals Efforts are far more likely to succeed when individuals ask explicitly about the goals of the interactions.  Often these questions are not asked and it is assumed that we are working toward the same goals. 
    7. 7. Involves shared responsibilities Critical decisions are shared  Tasks required to reach each goal are assigned to each individual involved. 
    8. 8. Involves shared accountability Implies all participants have contributed to planning and implementing a strategy and that they fully accept the outcomes.  This happens whether the outcomes are positive or negative. 
    9. 9. Requires sharing resources Each participant must contribute.  By doing this, everyone shares ownership for the activity or intervention. 
    10. 10. Collaboration is emergent Trust, sense of community, and respect do not happen immediately.  These characteristics grow stronger as the collaboration grows. 
    11. 11. Prerequisites  Reflect on your personal beliefs ◦ Do you value sharing ideas? ◦ Do you have the tolerance to change standards or ideas if necessary?  Refine your interaction skills ◦ Effective communication skills (i.e. listening, nonverbal signals, asking questions, making clear, nonthreatening statements.) ◦ Interaction process skills (i.e. conducting meetings, responding to resistance, resolving conflict, persuading others)  Contribute to a supportive environment
    12. 12. Some key elements Knowledge, perspectives, and values must be shared in order for it to be successful.  Develop and share common goals for work  Must be willing and able to understand the ideas and suggestions of the other contributors. 
    13. 13. The heart of collaboration        Forging constructive interpersonal relationships. Working towards giving and receiving help. Sharing information, expertise, observations, and reflections. Overcoming “turfism”.(Tilton, 1996) Can’t be about you or your ego. Working to improve communication Common vision and purpose.
    14. 14. Implications  Collaboration takes time. ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦  Building trust. Understanding roles and responsibilities. Invite and answer questions. Present information necessary for decision making. Has to be based on respect that is demonstrated. ◦ Mutually convenient meetings. ◦ Everyone has the same info. ◦ Incorporating and giving validity to different views.  Means that control must be shared or relinquished. ◦ You won’t always have answers. ◦ Need give and take to succeed.
    15. 15. Continuum of collaboration Informing Involving Engaging Leading
    16. 16. Informing One way flow of information from staff to parents.  Not two way meaningful communication. 
    17. 17. Involving An invitation to support an agenda determined by the school staff.  Parents are invited to participate, but they are not decision makers.  Usually marked by limited trust. 
    18. 18. Engaging Staff, parents, students, and community members work together to create the agenda, make decisions, and take actions.  Develops a higher level of trust. 
    19. 19. Leading A norm of engagement is created.  Participants work toward a shared vision.  Invested effort to create cooperation and goodwill. 
    20. 20. Some obstacles to collaboration Scheduling/timing  Personality conflicts  Communication problems  Resistance to change  Loss of classroom autonomy  Fear of criticism or judgment 
    21. 21. Other barriers  Attitudinal ◦ Knowledge ◦ Not believing in equality of partnership  Socioeconomic and cultural barriers ◦ Understanding and honoring cultural and racial variations ◦ Finding common ground in spite of different belief systems  Communication ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦  Difference in language Understanding preferences for nonverbal communication Preferences for direct vs. indirect communication Eye contact, physical proximity, overt respect Fears ◦ Accessibility of staff ◦ Resources
    22. 22. Cultural understanding Other cultures may differ in the way they understand disabilities and special education.  Educators must have a clear understanding of any cultural assumptions we have that guide our own thinking.  Explore and listen to parents’ concerns and perspectives. 
    23. 23. Cultural reciprocity  Identify the values underlying interpretations of situations. ◦ Key: Find out why? Explore the extent to which values and assumptions are recognized and accepted.  Acknowledge cultural differences and explain how and why a particular value is important.  Collaborate to determine the most effective way of adapting interpretations and recommendations. 
    24. 24. Assess judgments and values What do you think about the parents of your students?  What assumptions have you made about them?  What do you think about parents with advocates or attorneys?  What do you think about parents that miss meetings? Or parents that want to meet frequently? 
    25. 25. Parents- the untapped resource Many parents do desire to be involved in their children’s education.  More than just homework assistance, attending meetings, and volunteering at school.  Two way communication where teacher isn’t retaining a position of authority.  Many parents complain they aren’t “tapped” until it’s too late. 
    26. 26. What some parents want Direct contact with teachers  Frequent and specific information  Immediate feedback 
    27. 27. Engaging families         Keep promises Ensure confidentiality Be hopeful and honest about the student’s potential Help parents identify the student’s strengths and choices available to them Demonstrate and model problem solving skills Accept parents as equal partners and consider their preferences in planning Support parents as their child’s best advocate Take care of logistical details when meeting
    28. 28. Effective communication skills         Use knowledge as a frame of reference. Understand that there are many “right” answers when addressing learning and behavior. Listen (This isn’t formulating your response while the other is still talking) Avoid immediately offering advice when someone shares a concern. Focus interactions on observable information. Ask questions to encourage others to speak. Monitor how much you talk. Address disagreements as soon as possible in a straightforward manner
    29. 29. More points on communication Remember that nonverbal communication can convey just as much as words.  Include important information in writing.  Disagree without being disagreeable, and never involve the child.  Make sure parents are hearing more than just negative comments. 
    30. 30. The parent meeting  Primary goal of the first meeting is to have a relaxed conversation to establish a strong collaborative relationship.
    31. 31. Holding the meeting Engage in social conversation  Get to know the parent and child  Provide and overview to the meeting  Discuss confidentiality  Transition into classroom concerns  ◦ Start with positive aspects of the student’s performance before discussing the negative. ◦ When discussing the negative talk about observable, measurable facts.
    32. 32. Discussing problems with parents  Change talk- language that conveys a person’s desire, ability, reasons, need, or commitment to make a change. ◦ Why they want something to be different ◦ Statements about why the parent wants to help the student change behaviors ◦ Personal statements about one’s intention to change. ◦ Role of the teacher is to ask questions that make it more likely that the parent will talk about change rather than spending time telling them what to do.
    33. 33. Effective questions Problems with the status quo  Advantages about changing  Disadvantages of not changing  Intentions to change   Rule of thumb- If you hear yourself arguing for change, do something different.
    34. 34. Remember the RULE Resist the righting reflex  Understand the parent’s motivation  Listen  Empower 
    35. 35. Resist the righting reflex Resist the human tendency to help set people on the right course.  Allow the parent to say the reasons for change aloud.  Makes it more likely to tilt the balance of ambivalence in favor of changing. 
    36. 36. Understand parent motivation Values  What drives them to change  What drives them to stay the same 
    37. 37. Listening  Use active listening ◦ Allow parent to make approximately 9 out of 10 statements ◦ Don’t formulate your responses while talking ◦ Resist the urge to respond ◦ Active listening requires practice, focus, and patience
    38. 38. Empowering Get parent to see strengths and skills  Make parents aware of how they make changes happen themselves  Show them the child’s capabilities as well as their own. 
    39. 39. Don’t forget your OAR Open ended questions  Affirmations  Reflective listening  Summarizing 
    40. 40. Open ended questions  Requires elaboration instead of a single word response. ◦ What are your concerns about…? ◦ Why do you want these changes…? ◦ How have you handled these problems in the past?
    41. 41. Evocative questions  Open ended questions that ask parents to reflect on desire, ability, reasons/benefits of changing, needs/problems with status quo, or commitment. ◦ “Tell me about how you want things to be different.” ◦ “What would make you more confident that this change is possible?” ◦ “In what ways does this concern you?” ◦ “What would you be willing to try?”
    42. 42. Affirmations Verbal or non verbal behaviors that convey acceptance, support, and encouragement.  Key- Must be genuine and sincere  ◦ “You really put a lot of thought into this.” ◦ “I see how hard you have been working on this.” ◦ You did an amazing job with…”
    43. 43. Reflective statements  Paraphrasing comments while giving special attention to the feelings implied by his or her statements or behaviors. ◦ “You’re really frustrated by how things are going.” ◦ “You really want what is best for your child.”
    44. 44. Summarizing Two or three sentences that link the ideas expressed in the conversation.  Show listening and understanding  Allow you to reach an agreement or highlight an ongoing theme.  Effective transition to end topic ort meeting.  ◦ “Let me make sure I understand…”
    45. 45. Responding to resistance          Listen for the internal treasures can be drawn out and highlighted Remain optimistic and diligent about uncovering a parent’s underlying good intentions Ask good questions and listen for what is truly being said. Respond with non resistance. Use a simple reflection to acknowledge the parent’s perspective or feeling. End with reflection in the favor of change. Reframing – shift the flow of the conversation and thought processes away from the negative to a more positive and optimistic direction. Agreeing with a twist – a simple reflection with a reframe. Intended to acknowledge the parent’s position with a slightly different spin or direction. Shifting focus – acknowledge and shift to a new direction. Emphasizing personal choice
    46. 46. Let’s watch…  In each of the video examples, how are the teacher’s demonstrating effective or ineffective communication skills? ◦ What are they doing well? ◦ What should they change? ◦ What could they say instead?
    47. 47. Let’s practice… In each scenario we need one parent and one teacher.  Act out the situation on the card.  When I call time, the observers are going to respond.  ◦ What are they doing well? ◦ What could they change? ◦ What could they say instead?
    48. 48. Beautiful Minds of Princeton “Teach, Reach, & Expand Potential” For more information: Call: 1-800-675-2709 Email: director_familyservices@comcast.net or Visit us: www.beautifulmindsofprinceton.com