Saturday, August 9, 2014

Collaboration: A Recipe for Excellence

Teacher collaboration conjures up different emotions in teachers. Some teachers thrive with it, and some find it a bit stifling. However, I believe the best teachers know that by working together everyone achieves more.

For today's post, I'd like to explore the benefits, and possible challenges of teacher collaboration.


1. You are NOT alone: Requiring teachers to collaborate, to work as a team offers the individual teacher a feeling of connectedness. If the instruction falls flat, the team evaluates and redirects. Discussions surrounding the curriculum, the student learning objectives, and the standards all fall on the shoulders of the team, not the individual teacher. That builds reassurance, confidence, and purpose.

2. Quality of Instruction Improves: I love the saying, "feedback is the breakfast of champions". If the majority of feedback you receive only comes from students, you may find yourself floundering. Working collaboratively with a team of teachers allows opportunities for giving and receiving feedback about your instruction, and student performance. This is vital, because it offers a different kind of feedback than you might receive from students or administrators. As a result, the instruction develops depth.

3. Effective Use of Time: Planning together opens up more time, and takes a bit of the weight off. Delegating  jobs, and then having everyone bring his or her piece to the table creates a constructive use of time, which allows for more work and life balance. A vital necessity for any teacher.

4. Role model for students: Students who witness teachers working together, seeking their personal best, will emulate and feed off that momentum. Team is not just for students, but for the school as a whole.


1. Keeping Teacher Relationships Strong: Passionate teachers believe in their practice, and their ways of offering instruction. Working as a team, can feel like a bit of a constraint at times when passions or visions collide. However, there is give and take in any relationship. There may be times when letting go of the reigns is best, while there may be other times in which it is necessary to hold your ground. As long as there is a mutual understanding and respect for each other's contributions, then teacher relationships can stay strong, and the students benefit as a result.

Conclusion: Collaboration is a recipe for excellence.:

The  benefits of teacher collaboration outweigh the struggles. As a developing teacher, I'm blessed to learn from the seasoned teachers that surround me every day. Everyone bringing their personal best, working together as a team, produces the necessary ingredients for a successful student, a happy teacher, and a school of excellence.

The following are some videos that highlight the importance of teacher collaboration.

When a Lesson Goes Wrong-- Teaching Channel

Reflections on Practice from the National Teachers of the Year

Collaboration Generation--Edutopia

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