Working together: A reflection tool

This reflection tool is designed to encourage teachers, schools and leaders to think critically about the way they work together to support students with disability. Further, it provides an opportunity to identify appropriate strategies and resources to further improve their collaborative practices.

The reflective tool focuses on three key opportunities for collaborative practices: 

planning, 

developing team rapport, and  

collective practice. 

This reflective tool can help a team to collectively reflect on the ways they are already working together, and any changes they can make to strengthen their approach in the with the Inclusive Education Policy. While staff members can complete this individually, we recommend this tool is completed with those you work with – your teaching team, SLSOs, or other relevant colleagues. We recommend your team also review the content and reflection questions on collaboration in ‘What works best in practice’ (page 33) as part of this exercise, and identify further actions and goals based on these.

See: What works best in practice (nsw.gov.au)

See: Inclusive Education for students with disability (nsw.gov.au)

 

Reflection without action does not result in change. 

  • As your team completes each section, set clear and measurable goals that you all agree on, including changes to practices and processes. 

  • Provide a clear description of each staff member’s role in achieving these goals, and identify a clear timeline to review and reassess your progress in strengthening your collaborative practices. 

  • You may also want to identify knowledge or areas that need strengthening that can be further developed through professional learning.  

See: Professional learning (nsw.gov.au)

If completing this reflection as a group, detailed planning is important.

  • Identify who will plan and who will lead the meeting, and carefully consider how barriers to participation, such as perceived power imbalances, can be addressed. 

  • Set clear guidelines for how reflections will be framed. For example, “We will focus on practices and processes, and not on challenges or frustrations we have experienced with specific team members”, can help to sensitively identify practical changes that can be made while minimising conflict or hurt feelings. 

Some of the reflective exercises may identify school practices and processes that could facilitate improved collaborative practices for inclusive education.  

  • Involve school leaders prior to completing this reflection by discussing what your team is hoping to achieve from this exercise.  

  • Reach an understanding with school leaders, and as a team, on what you will communicate from this exercise with school leaders. 

  • Develop a shared understanding with leaders of the support(s) that may be available to your team.

Finally, the meeting coordinator should share relevant resources with all team members prior to completing the reflective exercises, to strengthen collective knowledge of strategies and processes that support collaborative practices. These may include:

  • Existing school processes from the learning and support team.

Reflective tool - collaborative practices to support inclusion

  • While staff members can complete this individually, we recommend this tool is completed with those you collaborate with – your teaching team, School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs), or other relevant colleagues.  

  • As your team completes each section, set clear and measurable goals that you all agree on, including changes to practices and processes. 

  • Provide a clear description of each staff member’s role in achieving these goals, and identify a clear timeline to review and reassess your progress in strengthening your collaborative practices. 

An SLSO with primary students

School Excellence Framework alignment

Wellbeing 

Effective classroom practice

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers alignment

Standard 7: Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

Audience 

School leaders, teachers

Purpose

School leaders and teachers can use this tool to reflect on their collaborative practices.

Timeframes and when to use

This resource can be used at any time to provide further information and practice guidance

Evidence base

This resource was developed with the AllPlay Learn team who conducted a series of systematic reviews of the empirical literature, with over 177,000 articles screened. The resources remain up-to-date, with content reflecting best practice reviewed by a world-class multidisciplinary research team, led by Monash University.

Reviewed

June 2022. Share your feedback here