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effective teacher collaboration
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the attitude of professional privacy is not conducive to professional development
- Build relationships
- Observe the best
- Ask questions
- Come prepared
preparation sparks much deeper conversation, more complete answers and better solutions. For informal collaborations, before I attempted to try out any new idea, I would ask one of my esteemed colleagues what they thought of it. In terms of assessments, the easiest way to improve the validity of the assessment is to have a colleague or group of colleagues review it.
develop a list of "how to" and "why for" questions regarding student data, instruction, discipline, etc.
bring my list of questions pertinent to the agenda in order to pick the groups' collective brain for answers.
one of the reasons that schools do not improve as fast as we would like them to is that when teachers get together for a purpose, rarely has research been done by the teachers, neither have ideas been mapped out prior to the meeting.
teachers, when it comes to their performance in the classroom, tend to stick to themselves.
Personal Steps to Effective Collaboration
Great teachers tend to be good-natured and approachable, as opposed to sour or foreboding; professional without being aloof; funny (even if they’re not stand-up comedians), perhaps because they don’t take themselves or their subject matter too seriously; demanding without being unkind; comfortable in their own skin (without being in love with the sound of their own voices); natural (they make teaching look easy even though we all know it isn’t); and tremendously creative, and always willing to entertain new ideas or try new things, sometimes even on the fly.
Passion. Of all the qualities that characterize great teachers, this is the most important, by far.
Don’t think, by the way, that students don’t pick up on the disdain. They absolutely do. And my experience with evaluating faculty members over the years suggests that the teachers who are most widely disliked are the ones who most dislike students.
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