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Take Notes and Post-Test

Background

It’s true that teachers and parapros can be friends as well as co-workers. However, the instructional mission has to come first. When teachers and parapros value the instructional mission students will too.  

Scenario

Three years have passed since you started working at Hanson Middle School.  It’s May 15, and you’ve just learned that you’ll have a new job in the fall. You’ve been hired at an elementary school in another district. You’ll earn more money in the new district, but, really, you wanted to work elsewhere for another reason. At Hanson, you didn’t feel you were able to help your students as much as you wanted. One of the reasons for this was communication between you and your mentor teacher was just not effective. In fact, there were communication problems across the school and there wasn’t much collaboration.

  • Communication with parents was poor.
  • Teachers and administrators were constantly arguing or bickering.
  • No one planned ahead and so you felt like you were always walking into unknown territory

In the new school district, you’ll be part of an instructional team. In fact, teamwork is their core mission.   Even though you’re more than ready to leave, you’re not going to escape Hanson without an exit interview with the principal!

Assignment

The principal wants to learn about communication at the school, so he’s going to ask tough questions! If you’re completing this activity on your own, you might want to jot down your answers to these questions. If you’re working in a group, you can trade off who plays the role of the parapro and who plays the role of the principal. 

As you complete this final activity, keep in mind the principles of effective communication and collaboration in your responses. Then think about your own context and how you can positively influence the communication and collaboration occurring in your school. 

TAKE NOTES

Principal’s Questions

  • How would you characterize your relationship with your mentor teacher? 
  • How might that relationship have been improved? 
  • How might the school improve communication and collaboration among teachers and parapros? 
  • How might the school improve communication and collaboration with outside agencies? 
  • How might the school improve communications between staff members and parents? 
  • How might the school improve communication with the families of ELs? 
  • How might teachers and paraprofessionals use data to improve classroom instruction? 

 

We hope that you found this module relevant to your setting and helpful for enhancing your communication and collaboration skills. If you have any questions about the module or its contents or you want to share your thoughts about it with the OPEPP team, please email mattsorr@ucmail.uc.edu

Module: Communication and Collaboration

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