How do I want to improve teaching and learning in my classroom? How can collaborating with others support my teaching and learning goals?
One way that I am interested in improving my teaching and learning in the classroom is by decreasing the amount of talking I do and increase the amount of talking my students do, particularly for the purpose of discussing literature in class. We discuss literature in both small group settings and whole class settings, and I would like to see my students take command of the discussions, to share their ideas openly and to listen and learn from their peers through discussion. Currently, my students struggle to share their ideas easily, and struggle to maintain conversations.
Collaborating with others can be beneficial for meeting learning goals and supporting teaching through a few different ways. One obvious method is the exchange of ideas. It is always good to work closely with other professionals. because there is a good chance they will know something I don’t, and be able to share a strategy that I don’t know. Other educators can also support one another through observations of teaching. Sometime if I have an idea for my classroom and there is something new I want to try I can ask one of my co-workers to come in a watch or check it out and observe a portion of my teaching, and tell me what they think of what they saw and share feedback. It can also work the opposite direction, I have had teachers ask me about curriculum and ask to come watch me teach certain portions of the curriculum they were having trouble understanding, to improve their own practice. Working and collaborating with other teachers can be one of the best accessible resources a teacher can access at school. When I work closely with other teachers I feel safe and successful. I know I can talk about challenging things with my peers, both strengths and weaknesses, without and risk to my professional reputation or evaluation.