Implementation of the supportive classroom curriculum guide is a team effort. At a minimum, instructional support teams should have a core consisting of the classroom teacher and a special educator. If assigned regularly to the classroom, a paraeducator may also be a member of the core team. The instructional support team should also have extended team members who meet with the team when needed. These extended team members may include parents, an administrator, a behavior specialist, a speech and language pathologist and/or other related services personnel. Core team members are directly responsible for implementing the supportive classroom curriculum on a day-to-day basis, however, extended team members should be welcome at all core team meetings, be kept informed about curriculum implementation, and be invited to participate in evaluation and all major team decisions affecting curriculum implementation. Our experience with instructional teams clearly supports a collaborative teaming approach that helps form and maintain positive working relationships.

A collaborative team is a group of individuals who share common beliefs and work towards common goals. Collaborative team members spend time discussing what they hope to accomplish as a team and set team and individual goals for reaching that vision. Collaborative teams sit in a circle to encourage face-to-face-interactions. They are made up of persons with varying areas of expertise who share tasks, resources, responsibilities and leadership. Collaborative team members use collaborative skills. Team members encourage each other to interact and to take part in group problem solving and decision-making activities, make decisions by consensus, poll each other for understanding of issues or ideas, and criticize ideas, but not each other. Collaborative teams establish norms for dealing with sensitive or controversial issues. Team members observe each other and provide constructive feedback on how they are doing as individuals and as a team. Collaborative teams continue to change and grow as challenges are addressed and overcome. They focus time and energy on building positive relationships among team members. Collaborative teams are effective and they have fun!

The Supportive Classroom curriculum describes how to make your instructional team collaborative to assure success!