We're in this together

We must be part of a teaching team every day, not just during the annual professional development day.

Photo of David Casey

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We can learn so much from each other if we are willing to share our work, our spaces, our ideas. That might mean sharing classrooms, or at least sitting in on others' classes. So many teachers have little opportunity to engage with their colleagues beyond the lunch room. I think we need to re-imagine our work spaces and even our courses, to create daily opportunities to ask questions of each other and learn from each other. We are getting closer with the concept of a guild, but even that is an external, almost artificial connection. Being on the same team has to mean more than just teaching at the same school. It has to mean that we need each other to in order to grow, improve, and advance.

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Photo of Karen

Let's talk about re-imagining master schedules!

Photo of David

Amen to that!
Staff meetings in the morning so kids can sleep in; common prep periods for teachers to collaborate. Course aligned by period to allow for sharing students. And even teachers required to share classrooms and do their prep while keeping an ear open to what's going on in the room.
Thanks for your comment Karen!

Photo of Jessica

Collaboration can be such a powerful way to grow and learn as a teacher. Whether it's learning from your colleagues or implementing something new, having a collaborator/co-conspirator is invaluable. When I started teaching, I was not prepared but having collaboration time with a colleague in the same situation (and an actual door that connected our classrooms) as well as dedicated time to regularly meet with my fellow second grade teachers allowed me to overcome my limitations and grow more quickly as a teacher than I would have had I been an isolated island.

Photo of John

The rigid design of school schedules and physical infrastructure are major impediments to innovation. Teachers feel this and it saps their drive to improve, which isn't a problem for the few lifelong learners.

Photo of David

John,
I agree that structure and schedules are the biggest challenge. Changing these requires bravery and creativity. Why not have the school day go from 8 am to 5 pm, or later, with larger spaces in the middle for collaboration? Or larger classrooms that accommodate 50 students and 2 teachers? I think we need to get away from the traditional high school structure.
Thanks,
Dave

Photo of John

David,
I agree 110%. The key will be flexibility. I like creating a longer day, but allow for personalized learning paths so that students can come and go as they need.

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