Positive and productive IEP meetings lay the groundwork for better student outcomes, but when team opinions clash and emotions run high, a meeting can fall apart before the child can benefit. A neutral third-party facilitator can make all the difference-and now there's a practical, how-to guide that shows professionals how to step into this critical role. A popular staff development and conflict resolution specialist whose dynamic presentations have helped thousands of professionals, Nick Martin shows readers how to effectively facilitate the whole IEP process, from initiating contact with team members to working through even the toughest conflicts. Professionals will discover the skills, actions, and attitudes they need to •establish a positive climate where all parties feel welcome and comfortable •work with the meeting chairperson to set ground rules and an agenda •build collaboration that leads to consensus •promote respectful communication among all members of the team •resolve conflict through effective interventions such as probing for interests, reframing, and pausing for reflection •respond sensitively and constructively to strong feelings •avoid common pitfalls of facilitation, such as being too passive or too directive, or missing critical junctures for intervention •recognize when an impasse has been reached and help the team break through it •bring meaningful closure to the meeting by clarifying what's been learned and what the next steps might be Because a good facilitator knows what to say and how to say it, readers will get dozens of realistic team dialogues that not only model effective words but also help them master tone and delivery. And the practical, quick-reference tools and exercises—such as a model IEP meeting agenda, facilitation intervention exercises, and facilitator dos and don'ts—make the principles of successful facilitation clear and easy to apply. A must for IEP facilitators and a valuable read for all team members, this highly accessible guide is the key to maintaining harmony as parents and professionals work toward their common goal: IEPs that help children reach their full potential.
About the Author Preface Introduction 1.Fa-cil-i-tate: vt. to make easier 2.Three Philosophies of Helping: Facilitator Styles 3.The Ten Roles of the Facilitator 4.Planning and Guiding the Meeting 5.Strategies for Intervention 6.Dealing with Impasse 7.Establishing IEP Facilitation References Appendix A. Exercises in Facilitation Styles: Model Responses Appendix B. Facilitator Dos and Don'ts Appendix C. Sample IEP Meeting Agenda Appendix D. Exercises in Reframing: Model Reframes Appendix E. Facilitation Intervention Options Appendix F. Exercises in Identifying Options: Model Responses Appendix G. Exercises in Process Intervention: Model Responses Appendix H. Dealing with Impasse: A Summary of Options Appendix I. 20 Questions You Should Answer Before Creating an IEP Meeting Facilitation System Appendix J. Sample Information Sheet for a Facilitated IEP Appendix K: Sample Agreement Form for a Facilitated IEP Meeting Appendix K. A Broad-Based Proposal for Conflict Reduction Index
About the Author:
Biography: Nicholas R.M. Martin is a conflict resolution consultant who lives near Fort Worth, Texas, with this wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Miya. Nick is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Hartford, and his educationsl background is in clinical psychology. After many years as a juvenile court psychologist, mental health counselor, and dispute mediator, he has come to focus increasingly on team building and conflict prevention. A considerable part of his more recent work has involved skills-based training for those working in special education. Nick has been authorized to mediate for several court jurisdictions and serves as a contract mediator for the U.S. Postal Service. He has been providing highly acclaimed and practically oriented training for more than 25 years. He has also taught dispute resolution at the graduate level. Nick is the author of An Operator's Manual for Successful Living (DeVorss, 1988) and Strengthening Relationships When Our Children Have Special Needs (Future Horizons, 2004). He has also published numerous newspaper and journal articles, some of which can be found at his website, www.4accord.com.