Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities
In Your School- Do all stakeholders subscribe to the belief that EVERYONE has something to learn and EVERYONE has something to teach? This blog can help you gain insight on how to facilitate this transformative mindset with your faculty!

Mar 12, 2011

Collaboration: The Key to Student Achievement

Conversations at grade level meetings, dialogues between teachers in the lounge, informal talks in the hallways, and conferences between teachers and adminsitrators are all used as examples of collaboration. HOWEVER, authentic collaboration goes much deeper than this. In order to experience the benefits of true collaboration, educators must being willing to look deep within and attempt to understand what distinguishes collaboration from other types of interactions.

If you've never experienced real collaboration, you may not be able to truly appreciate what it has to offer. If we are not careful, it could become collBLABoration where teachers simply sit around and chat and/or complain about students while being resentful of all that they need to be getting done in their classrooms.

I taught for a principal who gave me what I considered a GIFT of common planning time with my colleagues every day. It was wonderful because the principal taught us how to be "critcal friends" and discuss our teaching practices in a productive and reflective way that helped us to constantly grow our skillsets. We were taught specifc protocols for looking at dilemmas pertaining to student achievement, motivation, behavior, parent situations, etc. It was common for us to conduct lesson studies during our planning times. By using the protocols, we learned how to LISTEN to feedback, not be defensive, and depersonalize the feedback by focusing on data. We got all our planning for the following week done in one day by working smarter not harder and having everbody on the same page.

As an administrator now, I wished I had paid better attention when these processes were being introduced to me because I know that I need to do the same thing for my faculty. I hope that, when the time is right, I am able to inspire and motivate them to view collaboration in the same way.