Teacher-Teacher Professional Collaboration
Many of us see the benefits of collaboration in the classroom and desire to see our students develop cooperative attitudes and skills… but what about in the staff room? Is your school a place where teachers work together, sharing resources and providing feedback to each other to improve our practice? Are your relationships with your colleagues marked by trust, respect and a desire to learn from those who are different?
Challenging personal questions to consider!
And what about beyond your own school? Are there ways that you can be engaged professionally and personally with colleagues from other schools in your city, country or even internationally?
Here are a few of my thoughts about getting involved in professional collaboration…
Sharing resources and ideas.
Can you make time in staff meetings to highlight good teaching ideas? Or start an e-magazine with regular short articles/reviews. What about using technology?… set up some shared folders, create or contribute to a blog, join an online course with a few colleagues.
Feedback on teaching practice.
Classroom observations feel threatening but can be a good way to get a new perspective on your teaching. Even without this, could you make time to meet with a colleague and together reflect on lesson outcomes by reviewing student work samples together?
Solving real classroom questions or problems (Action Research).
Are you and your colleagues encountering a particular question or problem in your specific context, such as a concept you need to teach but the students never seem to “get it”? Why not get together to brainstorm some strategies, try them out and assess the impact? Share what you have learnt with the whole staff.
Is it possible for you and your colleagues to plan some projects that enable students to meet the learning goals in more than one subject area at a time? This requires clear learning goals, and some flexibility on how and when those goals will be achieved, but the result could be quite engaging
International Collaborative Projects.
ACSI Europe offers a course in international collaborative projects through our e-learning program. This course provides a platform for teachers to form a partnership with one or two teachers in another country, learn about project based learning together and engage their students in completing a project with students from the partner teachers’ classes.
- Phase 1: Join the course and find a project partner.
- Phase 2: Collaborate with your partner to develop a project (4 week course).
- Phase 3: Implement the project with your students and share your results.
What other ideas do you have for professional collaboration with your professional colleagues across the corridor …or across the globe?