Top Five Priorities for Online Therapy Excellence
PRIORITY 3: PATHWAYS TO THE CLASSROOM
Aligning ourselves with teachers and parents forms a circle of support around each child.
When your purpose is to improve a child’s life, it feels invigorating to work hand and hand with those who share the same mission. Aligned support from therapy to the classroom to the home creates a relevant and rewarding environment across our student’s day.
Influencing Excellence with Pathways to the Classroom
Our therapy team provides online occupational therapy and online speech therapy services to schools. In our previous posts, we outlined these priorities:
- Influencing excellence with technology. When partnering with school tech teams, our aligned goal is to provide the students with an engaging therapy experience, free of technical disruptions.
- Influencing excellence with customer service accountability. When partnering with administrators and special education teachers, our aligned goal is to create a student-focused partnership that achieves the school’s program objectives
Our next level of partnership develops relationships with teachers and parents. If you are exploring how to create a quality service framework with your teachers and parents, what should you build?
Focus: Build connections for exchanging information that will heighten our collective influence on the student’s experience.
Start your relationship by committing to a shared goal which will encourage all participants to contribute in way that is helpful and relevant. An example includes:
“Our goal is to accelerate our students’ progress across his life experiences.”
Considerations for Making a Difference for your Teachers and Parents
- Understand and involve the preferences and goals of the parents/teachers when you create plans for a regular information exchange and therapy programs.
- Clarify the contributions of the school’s ehelper in regards to liaising between the classroom and therapy session. Most of our teachers and parents log into their own TinyEYE office to access student information and notes; however, many ehelpers are involved with this information exchange as well. Ehelpers contribute incredible value to our schools’ programs and students’ experience.
- Think value. Provide information in an accessible, applicable manner with the goal to influence an enriched experience for your students outside of the therapy session. This requires an understanding of the student’s daily life, classroom themes and activities, available supports, and a feedback loop that validates or modifies your approach. Ultimately, our therapists can create sessions that are relevant to the home and classroom, while the strategies we share with parents and teachers help our students to experience support through their day.
- Empower your students to contribute to the connections between you and the class/home. This involves ‘teaching with intention’, which influences your students to both generalize and teach their skills to others. TinyEYE’s strategies include our virtual Backpack. Students create video clips to share with their parents. Likewise, they select online activities that they can practice at home or within a school practice program. Ultimately, our students become invested in contributing to their progress. We are here to serve them. “Students do not care how much we know until they know how much we care” (David Rubinstein, TinyEYE).
- When your primary investment is through consultation, your goal is to give the same intentional experience to the staff as you would to the student. Provide staff with clarity regarding the goal of the week, tools and strategies, routine experiences for encouraging successful and relevant practice, and tracking. As accountable therapists, we drive outcomes for each student through influencing the successful involvement of the support team.
Behind the Scenes at TinyEYE
All of us at TinyEYE are committed to giving schools equal access to quality therapy service. Access is an important commitment. In addition to reliable, regular access to our therapists, we give our teachers and parents secure access to tools and information that we create for each student. Likewise, when we access knowledge from our teachers and parents, we leverage our collective impact on students because our investment is relevant and reinforced in their activities of daily living. As shared earlier, an essential component to “access” is clarity about its exchange. Below is feedback we received from a school where our pathways to the classroom resulted in a collective triumph. Together, our approach to information exchange and application positively influenced our students’ experience…and their lives. Share with me:
Subject: Praise from Margaret
I just wanted to share a conversation I had on the phone today with Margaret from (high school). She called to say how happy she was with our services. Two students had just graduated from our program and their parents also wanted to give us a big thank you. Margaret has seen great progress with all our students and wanted to thank us for our work with her students.
So good news all around and one very happy client.