7 Habits of Highly Effective IEP Teams

7 Habits of Highly
Effective IEP Teams
With special thanks to
Stephen Covey
(author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Habit #1: Be proactive
“Taking initiative does not mean
being pushy, obnoxious, or
aggressive. It does mean
recognizing our responsibility to
make things happen."
What Can You Do to Be
 Keep
organized in a
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
Start preparing weeks in advance.
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
 Do your homework.
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
 Suggest the use of a common
planning format.
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
 Determine who
is to assist your
child in preparing
for and
participating in
the IEP.
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
 Volunteer to distribute and collect
the preplanning forms.
Even better, suggest to your child
that he/she distribute and collect
the preplanning forms.
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
 Ask that copies
of all paperwork
be provided to
everyone in
advance of the
What Can You Do to Be
Proactive cont’d?
 Share the recommendations that
your are going to make with the IEP
team in advance.
 Ask what recommendations are likely
to be made at the meeting by school
Habit #2: Begin with the
end in mind
"(This habit)...is based on
imagination - the ability to envision,
to see the potential, to create with
our minds what we cannot at present
see with our eyes..."
Why do you begin with the end
in mind?
“…you’ve got to have a dream. If you
don’t have a dream, how you gonna talk
about dreams come true? If you don’t talk
happy and you’ve got no dreams, then you
never gonna have a dream come true.”
“Happy Talk”
South Pacific
Oscar Hammerstein II
How do you begin with the end
in mind?
Write down your dreams, your vision for your
child’s future, your goals . Frame it. Share it.
Get others to invest in it with you.
As your child gets older change the
dream/goals to reflect what he or she wants.
When you decide upon where it is you are trying
to get to, the IEP becomes an individualized
Activity: Wide Awake Dreams
School dreams
Future dreams
Habit #3: Put first
things first
"Create a clear, mutual
understanding of what needs to be
accomplished, focusing on what,
not how; results not methods.
Spend time. Be patient. Visualize
the desired result."
Decide what your priorities are
What is a priority?
A priority is something or someone that
is rated uniquely important based on
one's values and goals (dreams).
How do you prioritize?
1. Think about
outcomes based
on your goals or
dreams for the
How do you prioritize ?
2. Write them down
Future Dreams
Desired Outcomes this year
Important 2/4
How do you prioritize cont’d?
Not important
3. Plot them on the chart below
Traffic safety
Zippering jacket Sorting shapes
Not urgent
Habit #4: Think win-win
"Win-Win is a frame of mind
that constantly seeks mutual
benefit in all human
interactions. Win-Win means
that agreements or solutions
are mutually beneficial and
How do you negotiate in a
win-win way?
Paint a person-centered picture of
your child.
Describe your child’s needs based on the
years that you have known your child.
Don’t be afraid to share your dreams for
your child’s future.
Know what you want and what you give
How do you negotiate in a
win-win way cont’d ?
At the meeting begin by thanking
people for their efforts on your
child’s behalf.
How do you negotiate in a
win-win way cont’d ?
Keep the focus on what is appropriate
for your child.
How do you negotiate in a
win-win way cont’d ?
Bring a picture of Suzie if Suzie isn’t
present herself.
How do you negotiate in a
win-win way cont’d ?
Serve refreshments.
How do you negotiate in a
win-win way cont’d ?
Work to develop a collaborative
relationship even before the meeting.
 Share with your child’s case manager
the concerns you will be sharing at the
meeting, and the requests you will be
 Complete preplanning forms and make
sure they get to team members
before the meeting
Activity: Characteristics of
Connected and successful?
Isolated and removed?
Habit #5: Seek first to
understand, then to be
“We typically seek first to be
understood. Most people do not listen
with the intent to understand; they
listen with the intent to reply.
They're either speaking or pre-paring
to speak. They're filtering every-thing
through their own [experience].”
How do you listen with the goal
of understanding?
Make eye contact
Clear your mind of other things
Ask for further explanation if you are
unclear on what is being said
Specifically ask that jargon and
acronyms not be used
Bring a friend to take notes for you so
that you can be fully present in the
Activity: Active Listening
Choose a partner
 Share information
 Report back and check for accuracy
Habit #6: Synergize
"Synergy works; it's a correct
principle. It is the crowning
achievement of all the previous
habits. It is effectiveness in an
interdependent reality-- it is teamwork, team building, the development of unity and creativity with
other human beings."
Activity: Together We Are
Individually count the number of
squares in the following slide
 When I tell you to get with a partner
and compare your numbers
 Adjust your answer if you want to as a
Help your team “synergize”
Encourage the input of all team members by
suggesting that a preplanning process be
Use a round robin approach to encourage
participation by all team members
Unless there is a really great reason for
excusing an IEP team member from the
meeting, ask that everyone be present
Ask for written contributions in advance if a
team member can’t attend
Habit #7: Sharpen the saw
"This is the habit of renewal...It
circles and embodies all the other
habits. It is the habit of continuous
improvement... that lifts you to new
levels of under-standing and living
each of the habits."
Practical Tips for Habit #7
Take time to celebrate!
Share stories -- funny and serious
Offer words of appreciation
Acknowledge gifts and talents of all
team members
Renew commitment to the journey

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