Administrators, teletherapy clinicians, and parents need to join forces to enable students to enjoy a healthy, productive learning environment in school. While many components are necessary, excellent communication skills are indeed at the top of the list.
But as we all know, the reality of creating a healthy and productive communication bond is often easier said than done. Unfortunately, there is usually a disconnect between school administrators and teletherapy clinicians that complicate what would otherwise seem relatively straightforward.
Below you will find four helpful tips that can both facilitate and improve this crucial tool to enhance student success and bolster the relationship between administrators and teletherapy clinicians. When there is so much at stake, it behooves the conscientious administrator to master as many of these suggestions as quickly as possible!
1. Regular and Consistent Communication with Teletherapy Clinicians
It is a well-established fact that relationships won’t either form or last if the contact is intermittent. The communication between administrators and teletherapy clinicians must be frequent enough to form a bond that will allow important information regarding the student to pass comfortably between them.
What’s more, the communication shouldn't be limited to crisis intervention or discussing problems but should be expanded to sharing stories about the students and discussing ideas the that will improve the clinical and educational environment for students, teachers and therapists alike.
2. As a Policy: Keep the Door Wide Open
Beyond the communication being consistent, teletherapy clinicians must sense that the administrator’s door is always open. This will facilitate a more open and honest dialogue, not to mention that it will build mutual respect and trust. Such foundations are required if the conversation will be both collaborative and productive.
It is important to note that “open door” means more than just physical access to the principal’s office. If the teletherapy clinicians or for that matter any other therapists or teachers are not walking through the door to talk, the principal should be seeking them out. And don’t forget to be accessible through email and your cell phone as well!
3. Solicit Feedback on a Regular Basis
While regular, consistent communication together with keeping the door open will go a long way, alone they still aren’t enough. Sometimes your teachers or teletherapy clinicians may be too intimidated to voice their valid concerns. This is why great administrators elicit feedback through surveys or other venues to allow their staff to communicate their concerns in an uninhibited manner.
Feedback is essential for two reasons. First of all, it conveys an unspoken message to the teachers and therapists that their insights and suggestions are crucial thus strengthening the bond between staff and administration. Secondly, often those same insights and ideas lead to necessary improvements in the school.
4. Don’t Just Communicate, Set Objectives
While communication is valuable in and of itself for the reasons mentioned above, if you want to upgrade that communication, give it a purpose. Experts advise that administrators should set objectives by way of an agenda when interacting with staff. It is the mark of a seasoned administrator to be able to balance these “focused” communications with the casual interactions designed to build relationships.