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More Thoughts on Collaboration

posted Sep 2, 2017, 12:10 AM by HSD Principal
Let's not wait for a situation like a double block week to be intentional at helping each other to get better at teaching - and helping our students become better learners. Here are some more resources on making the most of collaborating, and some simple ideas about making it more a part of our regular practice.

Matching Complementary Strengths: This article gives the process two teachers went through when they were required to collaborate. But it also includes some ideas for teachers on how to get started working with others, including asking questions as you being your planning:

It's OK to come in and say, 'What are you doing on journal prompts? I need to know right now and take it.' Or, 'What are you doing in the afternoon for math? I know that we're working in fractions, but do you have anything that you're going to do besides what's being asked inside the curriculum?' Or, 'Hey, I know we're reading this novel. Are you starting to introduce the characters? Are you having them look at it before we read, or are you looking at it when you're reading?'

Here is a cute PDF poster giving six Benefits of Teacher Collaboration based on a study done in Pennsylvania schools. One of their primary findings:

100 % of the study participants said their teaching improved.

This article on The Power of Teacher Collaboration is one among many that stresses the importance of finding intentional time to work at collaborating.

And for those of you who like more data: here are the results of a wide survey conducted by the Teachers Network. They also address the second hurdle I mentioned in our staff meeting last week:

Collaboration – sharing knowledge and ideas – implies risk. Both survey and interview data gathered by CTQ in various urban districts drives home the point that collaboration is difficult to execute without a sense of trust among teachers... “If you…don’t mesh well, then it becomes very difficult to feel successful in a model where you must rely on someone else and their judgment.” Teachers who work in trusting environments have a basis for inquiry and reflection into their own practice, allowing them to take risks, challenge and critique each other, and collectively solve tough problems.
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