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I’ve received a number of emails that had to do with our school. Last week, I received a few more about our doctor.


To put it simply, people are impressed.


I am, too. We are really lucky to have a great school and a great doctor. Our experiences wouldn’t have been possible without some great people with whom we could work.


I’ve heard some really sad stories about others’ experiences. I’ve felt the frustration. I’ve seen the dissatisfaction. And, I’ve been asked, many, many times–


How did you find these people?


Well, we took finding a good school district very, very seriously. People thinking the teachers are “nice” or the class size is “decent”… well, that’s not enough information for us. Neither are test scores. We did our part in ensuring we’d be in a good place.


I already told you all that at least 95% of our town uses the same pediatrician practice– so I can’t really claim that I did anything special, there. I will say that I’ve learned over the years which of the doctors there best align with our philosophy, but, really, we just went where everybody else went.


If there is ONE piece of advice I would give to people who are desperate to have a good teacher, doctor, therapist, etc. relationship, it is this:


Always, always, ALWAYS approach it like you are teammates.


Every time– and I mean, every single time– we get a new teacher or see a new doctor,  I walk in simply assuming that we both absolutely want what’s best for my child. It’s honestly that simple.


The thing is, when you approach working with someone this way, you have to keep a few things in mind:


Every now and then, someone will drop the ball.


It’s bound to happen. We’re all human. Someone’s going to make a mistake or forget something critical. It happens on any team– even the very best. Accepting that it’s part of life and not a sign of apathy or negligence is critical to the upkeep of a strong, working relationship. Offer second chances when necessary.


Someone will misread a signal.


This happens frequently to teams. One player indicates one thing, the other interprets it as something else. Communication gets scrambled and everyone starts pointing fingers and tossing blame around. Whose fault was it, really? In the end, as long as both players were trying to work in the best interest of the team, it doesn’t much matter. This just means you need to establish a better communication method for the future.


Strengths must be utilized.


Cutting right to the point: no one is good at everything. You might find that your child’s teacher is phenomenal at scheduling, but you’re better at coming up with a creative programming solution. Your doctor might be a spot-on diagnostician, but not so great at talking at your child’s level. Don’t expect someone to be everything. Expect them to complement you in a way that makes the team stronger.



Sometimes, you get a dud. Or someone with whom you simply cannot work. It happens. I would never dispute the reality of that.


Oftentimes, however, the greatest predictor of how successful a relationship is going to be comes down to the attitude with which you enter into it.


Go, Team.




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3 comments to Teammates

  • This is one of the joys of parenting after several years of teaching. I get to sit on the other side of the table now! And oh, I have so much more respect for those teachers. ;) I can tell if we’re “all in this together” (and we usually are!) and mutual respect goes a LONG way.

  • So what do you do to research the school district?

    • Well, we consider funding. Taxes. Past performance. Percentage going on to four-year-universities. Even teacher salaries. I really like to talk to people who have also lived in OTHER states and can help me draw conclusions. People who’ve spent their entire lives in one place tend to think it’s the bee’s knees and don’t necessarily have the most perspective and clarity, IMO. We’re number-crunchin’, researchin’ fools! ;)

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