Module 7: Collaborative Etiquette

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2 Responses to Collaborative Etiquette

Andy C. Ng says:
June 14, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

When working in a high-minority, high-poverty school, it is imperative to be a team player! Collaboration is not just a task, but a way of life and something your teaching methodology should be defined by. While you may teach a class independent of one another, there is plenty of room for collaboration. Support, peer review, and share best practices. Sit down and plan together, and think of ways that you can connect classes together. If you can illustrate that, students may find it easier to understand the true, interconnected relationships between all the school subjects they take.

Dr. Sherika Evans says:
January 11, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

Before one can collaborate with the team, one must first be formed. Sometimes administrators will attempt to do this for you, they will place you near colleagues and give you a set of expectations to meet and if you are lucky they will even pre-designate a chosen “team-leader.” However, what would you do if these steps have not been done for you? Sure you can have neighbors, and you can even have people that teach the same subject you teach but does that make you a team?
Use the information in this module to help you establish a true team. The guidelines are perfect and arms you with the knowledge you need to indeed be effective. In addition also realize you have the tools to be even more effective inside of you. Be inspirational, be fair, and be consistent.
You want to know the first thing I do when I get on a team? I ask everyone what their strengths and weaknesses are. It sounds more like this “Good morning everyone, my name is Sherika. I am so happy to be a part of this team!! I have always wanted to work with this grade level/subject area. I really want our year to be fantastic so I think we should tell each other our strengths and weaknesses so we can know how we fit together- that way we can work smarter and not harder but what do you guys think?…..”Sometimes teachers are extremely excited to share this info, so be prepared to facilitate this meeting. Also be warned that this can sometimes become a giggle fest. I always say that honesty will either make you cry or make you laugh. And during this type of session we tend to laugh….a lot! But just as much as we laugh with one another, we also encourage and uplift one another as we share. It is a true bonding experience.
Once this has been done it is so much easier to work as a team. Everyone knows their role on the team and therefore can collaborate more effectively and more often.
Be inspirational with your words, and take on the ownership of student and teacher success. Do not be afraid to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. It can really mean a lot to a teacher to come in and find a soda and bag of microwave popcorn with a little note that celebrates something specific they did the day before. It could be test scores, handling a difficult student, or even just being consistently good at their piece of the puzzle.
Additionally there is great power in holding joint meetings to reinforce academic and behavioral expectations amongst students as well. When all the teachers and students gather in one room, and the teachers collaboratively review the rules and set expectations together, the students know that consistency is expected and they work harder to do so.

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