Work Team Relationships

The Frenzied SLPs are bringing you different perspectives on work team relationships this month. Now that an entire quarter has passed, I'm definitely in the grove of working with a variety of staff members at my school. As an SLP it's pretty imperative to establish solid work team relationships as we interact with many staff members throughout our day/week/year.

You can read about my incredible work team relationship with my OT here. Since I already described why I love my OT and the benefits of co-treating, today I am choosing to talk about a new adventure in work team relationships.

I've been dabbling with providing push-in therapy over the years. This year I made an effort to be consistent with select groups. There were many emotions along the way and while I'm continuing to learn, I'm sharing my tips for encountering a new work team relationship.

1.  Be approachable.
A friendly smile goes a long way. Being easy to talk to when beginning a new work team relationship may help you to make it work!

2. Know when to follow and lead. 
My Type A personality has entertained B quite often these days. While I allow my Type A to fade into the background, I'm learning to follow the lead of others. Going into a classroom run by another professional takes someone that is willing to follow first and lead when the time presents itself.

3. Choose the path that works for both professionals.  
I consistently push into 6 classrooms weekly for a total of 11 sessions involving 24 students on IEPs. This accounts for just over one-third of my current IEP caseload. Each setting looks different. In my case, there was actually very little discussion about the path with each teacher. I followed #1 and #2 and found different paths within each setting. We are making it work in many different ways.

4. Be flexible. 
Know your students' goals and the evidenced-based strategies/methods to target those goals. Be ready to flex when an activity already in progress lends itself to great therapy. Be able to modify your plan and expectations.

6. Take notice of the positives!
Yes, the control I had over my therapy room, the activities I chose, the routines and environment I implemented are not present when I am in someone else's room. That doesn't mean that the therapy I continue to provide is not noticed or effective. I overheard an intervention specialist remarking about a classroom teacher that was implementing a following directions activity with an at risk student...I smiled inside knowing that it was the same activity I had done within her room the day before with my caseload students. In another classroom, I noticed the teacher doing novel studies and asked about her next book. Amazon Prime shipping, a search through my purchased clip art, recall of student objectives, and time spent creating a speech and language companion led me to a therapy plan for the week that incorporated the classroom plan. (You an check out my Crankenstein book companion here.)

I've chosen to make it work and appreciate what this new team relationship can offer to both myself and my students. What are your tips for making it work? What new team relationships are you experiencing this year?


  1. Our ideas are very similar! Going with the flow and being flexible are so important!

  2. So glad push-in is working for you! It can be an exercise in frustration when it doesn't. When it does there is a great feeling of satisfaction!

  3. We have been doing more push-in at my school too! These are some great tips.

  4. I think #3 is so hard for us as SLPs...we're used to being in charge, but it's important to know when to follow!


Back to Top