What Are Strategies for Collaborating With Teachers to Support Student Academic Progress?

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    Counselor Brief

    What Are Strategies for Collaborating With Teachers to Support Student Academic Progress?

    In the spirit of teamwork, a school counselor shares how regular interdisciplinary meetings can significantly enhance a student's academic progress. Alongside industry professionals, we've gathered additional answers that reflect a diverse array of collaborative strategies, from co-teaching sessions to the development of joint assessment rubrics. These insights reveal the multifaceted ways counselors and teachers can work together to uplift students' educational experiences.

    • Meet Regularly to Share Diverse Perspectives
    • Bridge Student-Teacher Communication
    • Utilize Shared Technology Platforms
    • Initiate Mentorship Programs
    • Develop Joint Assessment Rubrics

    Meet Regularly to Share Diverse Perspectives

    Regular communication is key; meeting with teachers and related service staff at least once every two weeks is essential. This is an opportunity to share where everyone sees a student in their progress journey. Everyone's perspective and observations are valuable. Sometimes, we downplay our special point of view or take for granted that everyone understands what we do and why. For example, a student may get stuck and not want to do some work. An OT may point out that handwriting is difficult for that student, so maybe a different means of expression would work better. Maybe that science experiment is a challenge because the student has tactile sensory defenses. Maybe the OT or art teacher have tried alternative strategies that were more helpful. We can all learn from each other; and together, make a difference in our students' learning experiences.

    Kathleen Jonesschool counselor, Wildwood School

    Bridge Student-Teacher Communication

    I've found it's important to stay curious as to why students' academic performance might be hindered. It's easy to default to reasons like lack of motivation or difficulty with executive functioning, but I've often found social anxiety to be a contributing factor. After counseling one particular student, I realized that she felt too nervous to ask her teacher for help, to find out what assignments were missing, and to ask for an extension. This anxiety in talking to her teacher directly had been building for some time. I was able to help by acting as a bridge in communication by initially talking to the teacher on behalf of the student and eventually by helping the student feel comfortable advocating for her own needs directly with her teacher. Knowing the student felt anxious, the teacher also created more space to check in with the student periodically. The outcome was that the student no longer felt scared to ask for help and was able to complete missing assignments and bring her grades up by the end of the trimester.

    Stacey Alonzo
    Stacey AlonzoCounselor, Tierra Pacifica Charter School

    Utilize Shared Technology Platforms

    Shared technology platforms serve as a powerful tool for tracking student progress and fostering collaboration among teaching staff and school counselors. By utilizing these platforms, educators and counselors can easily share updates, monitor academic performance, and identify areas where students may require extra help. Both parties can also provide timely feedback and adjust instructional strategies based on real-time data.

    Moreover, this transparent communication channel ensures that all involved parties are informed and accountable. To support student success, start incorporating shared technology tools for comprehensive progress monitoring and collaboration in the classroom.

    Initiate Mentorship Programs

    Implementing teacher-student or counselor-student mentorship programs can greatly enhance a student's educational experience and academic advancement. With this setup, students are paired with teachers or counselors who serve as mentors, offering guidance, encouragement, and academic support tailored to the individual's needs. These relationships often translate into improved student engagement, increased motivation, and a deeper understanding of the material.

    The one-on-one attention helps students to build confidence in their abilities and to set realistic, achievable goals. If you're looking for a personal way to make a difference in your students' academic lives, initiate a mentorship program in your school that pairs students with teacher mentors.

    Develop Joint Assessment Rubrics

    Developing joint assessment rubrics can lead to greater consistency in evaluating student work and developmental progress. When teachers and counselors collaborate on creating a common set of criteria for student progress, it ensures that all students are held to the same standards regardless of the class or teacher. This consistency is key to providing fair and objective feedback, which can help students understand how to improve and excel personally and academically.