Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Collaboration

I HEART collaboration. For me to embrace this as much as I do can come as a shock because I've always been a just-let-me-do-it kind of gal. I'm not saying that's a good philosophy, but it's one that I haven't ever been able to shake.

During my student teaching I taught on two VERY different teams. One team collaborated for all the academic areas. There wasn't one part of the day, outside of morning meeting, where I hadn't planned with another teacher. From a student teacher perspective, the support was great, but the empowerment of being treated as an equal with good ideas was even better. The other team I taught on openly hated each other, so there was zero collaboration. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching both grade levels, but did miss the cohesiveness of the collaborative team.

My first two years as an "official" kindergarten teacher had some collaboration, but not as much as I'd like. Then this year I was blessed to have a fantastic co-teacher in my room for Reading Workshop. Our planning meetings have become these sessions where great ideas just pop out, or good ideas poke their head out and then we excitedly talk them into great ideas. RW has become my favorite part of the day, and in turn, my kiddos really like it.

Our literacy specialist came into my room this morning for a meeting whose purpose was to arrange a time when she could come into my classroom, observe Language Arts, and then participate by co-teaching. This turned into a fantastic planning session for my Writing Workshop, and when she left I had a week-long focus lesson that I was giddy with excitement about.

Collaboration seems like a no-brainer, a home-run, a slam-dunk, but if every single person is not 100% on board, it's very difficult to make happen. I'm here to say that if you are a I'd-rather-go-it-on-my-own kind of teacher, you are really missing out.

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