The goal of all teachers should be to provide quality education for all students. One way to ensure students get the best education possible, is to collaborate with coworkers and students. The days of following the chapters in a text book year after year are over. A good teacher should constantly grow their own knowledge base and adapt to the changes in the landscape of the work.
In this blog series we will explore how to nurture teacher collaboration two ways:
- Teacher to Teacher
- Teacher to Student
Teacher to Teacher
To truly reach students, the teacher must also be student, constantly evolving and growing their knowledge base. How? By working closely with coworkers to transfer knowledge and nurture ideas. Teaching is only effective if the teacher is continually learning.
Teacher to teacher collaboration is key and academia has caught onto this important fact. Teacher teams or other kinds of teacher collaboration is becoming the norm in the modern school system. Fellow teachers harbor a wealth of knowledge and experience no matter how long they have been teaching.
The first place a teacher can look to hone their craft and expand their knowledge base is in their backyard, so to speak. Look no further than the person sitting next to you in the teacher’s lounge. If there are no logical teaching partners in your school, collaborate with teachers in other school systems, cities, states or even countries. With online tools, teacher collaboration has no borders.
Don’t have teaching peers to meet face-to-face with during the school year? Or, are you too busy to meet with the teacher right down the hall from you? Use your mobile device or computer and utilize virtual collaboration tools. There are lots of tools out there that can enable real-time or anytime collaboration with coworkers and teaching peers no matter where they reside.
EdTechReview recommends the following:
- Google Drive – free way to collaborate on documents, presentations and more by sharing with coworkers and teaching peers
- HaikuLearning – free cloud-based app where teachers can share content sharing, lesson plans, assignments, feedback and grading
- Yammer – social network for teachers to chat openly or privately with peers
These are just a few popular online tools used by teachers. Teachers can also look to teacher specific twitter accounts for inspiration, support, camaraderie, and professional development. WeAreTeachers suggests 36 teachers to follow on twitter to obtain insight on topics like diversity, bullying, the power of words, etc.
Whether you are meeting face-to-face, virtually, are a veteran teacher or a new teacher right out of school, teacher collaboration provides the following benefits to educators:
- Decreased teacher isolation
- Opportunity to share the workload with peers
- Exposure to different ideas, suggestions, resources, and professional insight
- Support when trying new activities
- Advice on lesson plans/ideas
- Assistance/experience with student issues
- Support and encouragement from peers
Once teachers are working together, it is essential that the educator step away from lecturing only and look to students for feedback and insight throughout the learning process. Check back in a couple of weeks for Part 2 of How to Nurture Teacher Collaboration for teacher to student collaboration. Learn how collaboration tools can help students participate more during the learning process and provide much needed feedback to educators.
Larry Lipman Knows Team Building for Teachers
I facilitate seminars that are interactive, learn-by-doing, and rich in content. Participants will learn life skills that they can apply in the classroom and at home. Call me today at 770-333-3303 and find out how I can customize a educator team building day specifically for teachers!