Let’s face it, managing staff in the special education classroom is one of the most difficult things we do.
The next step for rounding up posts for the Ultimate Guide to Setting Up Special Ed. Classrooms is how to set the class up to manage staff.
The key first steps in setting up staff management systems in the classroom are to build relationships and then set clear expectations.
Building Relationships and Teamwork
In order to work effectively with the adults in the classroom, you have to build relationships with them. That type of trust and support is the basis of working together as a team. In addition to relationships you have to build a classroom team. It doesn’t just happen.
- 5 Ways to Build Teamwork in the Special Education Classroom
- 5 Listening Mistakes That Sabotage Relationships in the Classroom
- 5 Ways to Listen to Improve Staff Interactions in the Classroom
- Giving Feedback to Staff So They Will Listen
- 10 Ways to Create Time and Make the Most of Your Collaboration with Paraprofessionals
Staff Zoning Plans
The next step of managing staff is setting up clear expectations and giving clear directions. Zoning plans or staff schedules help to do just that. It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen classroom staff really struggling to work together. And writing down the staff zoning plan and schedules solves the problems. I’ve had situations where teachers wanted paras fired or paras wanted to change classrooms…and setting up clear expectations got the situations under control.
A zoning plan is primarily a staff schedule, but it also can reflect how you want to assign the staff to work with your students. They can manage a zone or area of the classroom. Or they can manage a student or sets of students. Or it can use a combination of both approaches. For more ideas and tons of examples, check out the posts below. In addition, I created a toolkit of how to use zoning plans and build classroom teams that might be of interest.
- Top 5 Reasons to Zone Staff: Back to School-Staff Zoning Staff-High School General Ed (and freebie!)
- 3 Easy Steps to Solving Problems Among Your Staff: Special Education Leadership in the Classroom
- 3 More Reasons to use a Zoning Plan in Your Classroom
- Staff Zoning Plans: Answers to 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- Making Zoning Plans Work for Everyone: Back to School Setting Up Classrooms for Students with Autism
- Successfully Working with Paraprofessionals Using Zoning Plans
So I hope that gives you lots of ways to think about managing staff when setting up the classroom. There are lots of different examples in the posts of zoning plans as well.
Looking for more ideas about classroom setup? Check out the Setting Up Classrooms course in the Special Educator Academy.