Consultation, Collaboration, and Teamwork for Students with


Consultation, Collaboration, and

Teamwork for Students with

Special Needs

Purpose of Instruction

Provide a foundation to construct a practical framework for implementing a collaborative, consultative, or teamwork approach to meeting the needs of all students in your school.

Historical Perspective

Teachers are use to functioning autonomously in their classrooms. In the past asking for assistance often would be viewed as incompetence.


Teachers need structure, training, practice and feedback on how to work together in a collegial manner for the good of all students. Education needs to develop a collaboration ethic.

Appropriate Education PERIOD

We need to talk about the educational needs of the students PERIOD.

We need to stop talking “special education” vs. “general education”

“Special Education” automatically sets the tone for lower expectations.


Sharing of expertise

Do not claim to be the experts

Listen well

Learn from others

Help individuals, schools recognize their own skills

Help students achieve highest levels of success and independence




Instruction is enhanced by diversity of values, experience, abilities, and interests.

Seek win/win solutions

Needs of students come before the needs of the adults.

Obstacles for Successful


Resistance from administrators

Resistance from colleagues

Resistance from parents.

Crucial Elements of Effective

Collaboration Services




5 Factors of Successful Inclusive



Visionary Leadership

 positive view towards students with disabilities

 positive view regarding the abilities of teachers and families.

Instructional emphasis: ALL staff are responsible for ALL students.

Educators share responsibility for achievement and behavior.

Emphasis on community of learners, high standards, role flexibility, and flexible learning environments.

#2 Collaboration

Teachers are encouraged to collaborate on all levels for all issues. Collaboration among teachers is common. True team work is in existence between grades and levels.

#3 Refocused Use of Assessment

Use more authentic assessment measures or outcomes-based education (OBE)

Use assessment data to drive instruction

Curriculum-based Assessment

 portfolio assessments

 teacher-made tests

Criterion referenced tests

Curriculum-based measurement

#4 Supports for Students and


Systematic staff development (annual planning)

Flexible planning time for special educators and general educators

Special Resources are used efficiently across programs

 instructional assistants curriculum adaptation integrated therapy services peer supports technology assistive devices

#5 Effective parental involvement

Parents are welcomed, respected, and integral to the school

KDE Collaborative Model

Daily interaction between general and strategic teachers as well as administrators from the school and district level, parents, and related service personnel.

Strategic Teachers

Skilled training in one or more specialized areas

(e.g. behavior management, social skills, speech therapy, giftedness) who use those skills to assist in the development and implementation of instructional strategies.

Characteristics of Collaborative


Mutual trust

Open communication

Joint effort in problem solving

Pooling of personnel resources

Shared responsibilities in the selection, implementation and evaluation of instructional strategies.

Each member provides expertise

Each member participates in the implementation of preventive strategies and or problem resolutions.

Appropriate Activities for a

Collaborative Teacher

Consult with regular, gifted, vocational, special education, special area teachers, administrators, support services and parents.

Collect formative/summative data on instructional programming to solve problems or identify problems.

Maintain on going progress data.

Modify instructional strategies

Model teaching strategies and assist with transitioning of skills from class to class.

Coordinate and support students transitioning from class to class.

Modify and/or adapt curriculum, materials, strategies, or environmental settings.

Deliver instruction.

Grade/write instructional plans

Collaborative Arrangements

Dyads: 2 teachers work together with on grade level or in one content area

Content Teams:SPED works with teachers in one content area

Grade Level Teams: special education teacher is teamed with one grade level and works on instructional planning

Split Level Teams: SPED teacher works with 2 grade levels or across multiple content areas.

Multiple Collaborative


Student needs first

Staffing needs/team needs

Flexibility in planning and delivery

Different assignments or lessons may require different types of collaboration

Administrator Responsibilities



Flexible planning time

Priority status for classes/student schedules

Joint planning time

Open communication

Role of the Special Educator

Primary role is to be responsible for the services that are indicated on each student’s IEP. It is the special education teachers responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities are receiving the specially designed instruction and related services as prescribed on their


Role of the General Education


The general education teacher remains the lead teacher for the content of the course. She/he provides direction for instruction and content emphasis.

She/he works with the special education teacher to plan how they will develop, implement, deliver and assess the core content to the students.

Critical Factors for Success


Scheduling, teaching, methodologies, grading and instructional time


Conflict resolution, effective problem solving


Common Planning time


Priority for classes, students, itinerant staff


Administrator, teachers, central office

Planning & Problem






Personnel, materials, professional development