Skip to main content

Collaborating with School Personnel – Strategies for Successful Partnering

Gifted Education and Support

This Tips for Parents article authored by Kara McGoey is from a seminar she hosted for Young Scholar families. She highlights ten helpful tips for parents who are looking to collaborate with their child’s school personnel. 

A few themes emerged from our discussions of effective collaboration. These include:

  1. Be Pro-active
    Try to establish a relationship with your child’s teacher and school administrators before a problem arises. Set up a meeting at the beginning of the school year to discuss your child’s needs. Provide the teacher with examples of what worked and what did not work in the past. The teacher may want to try some different techniques but this gives him or her an idea.
  2. Find a Common Goal
    Collaborating is easier when the team is focused on the same goal or outcome. Keep the goal as specific as possible but do not be afraid to remind the team that the ultimate goal is the child’s successful learning.
  3. Establish a Relationship
    Establish a relationship with the teacher or school outside of the meetings about your child. Try to volunteer in the classroom, with the parent/teacher organization, or on field trips. This does not have to be a weekly event, any contact is positive.
  4. Find an Advocate
    When working with a team of professionals at the school it is often helpful to find one person that truly understands your situation. This might be the teacher but it does not have to be. Your advocate could be any adult that knows your child well.
  5. Coordinate
    Work as one team for the child. PG kids often have multiple people across systems working with them. Try to coordinate these services and people. The school might appoint one person as the case manager (or some other title) or you might need to request this or possibly attempt this yourself.
  6. Pick Your Battles
    The ultimate goal may be to meet all of your child’s needs but you may need to tackle one need or service at a time. Prioritize your requests and try to tackle one at a time.
  7. Be Appropriately Assertive
    Be assertive when working with the team. This does not mean you should be aggressive or pushy. Assertive means you use the force appropriate for the situation to get your needs met. I like this definition provided by the staff at the Mayo Clinic: “Being assertive means that you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others.”
  8. Know when to call in the Experts
    Finally, know when you have done everything you can do and it is time to call in the experts. Sometimes it is too much for one family to navigate. Use your resources. You may be able to get a local advocate or use the Davidson consultants to facilitate your work with the school.

 

Comments

Add a comment

Please note, the Davidson Institute is a non-profit serving families with highly gifted children. We will not post comments that are considered soliciting, mention illicit topics, or share highly personal information.

Related Articles

Gifted Education and Support

Social Adjustment and Peer Pressures for Gifted Children

This article by Sylvia Rimm addresses the social issues that gifted young people face on a regular basis. It gives…

Social and Emotional Resources

Gifted Homeschooling and Socializing

Gifted Homeschooling and Socializing After curriculum, one of the most frequently asked questions the Davidson Institute receives regarding homeschooling is…

Gifted and Twice-Exceptional

Executive Functioning and Gifted Children

Executive Functioning and Gifted Children What is executive functioning? Executive functioning is a broad term that includes several brain functions…

Gifted Programs

Online Schools for Gifted Children

Many families in the gifted and twice-exceptional community have utilized online learning programs. For gifted students, online programs may deliver…