Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Teacher Collaboration

In one of my classes, we talked about teacher collaboration today.  In one of the articles, it discussed how teacher collaboration is hard to incorporate into schools because it takes time away from teaching and other more important things that teachers must do (ex: reading the latest teaching techniques and figuring out how to implement them to one's teaching). 

I found this point to be very interesting.  First, I believe that teacher collaboration is very important.  I think teachers should collaborate both with teachers who are in the same teaching field (i.e other second grade teachers, other social studies teachers, etc.) and with teachers in other content areas (i.e the gym teachers, the special education teachers, etc.).  By collaborating, teachers can gain different view points, ideas, techniques, etc. 

Because I view collaboration as something that is very important, I found it to be interesting that the reading would say that collaboration took teachers away from more important things.  However, thinking about it, I began to realize that there are teachers who feel this way.  While student teaching, the district I was in was trying to make teachers collaborate more with one another, and a big thing teachers kept wondering was how they were going to make the time for collaboration.  Thinking about this and then thinking about activities we are doing in class and tools I have been learning about made me realize that teachers can collaborate on-line.  Technology shouldn't just be integrated into the classroom to benefit students, but it can be used to benefit teachers as well.  I know that many of the teachers were supportive of collaboration but were just worried about finding a good time for everyone.  By creating collaborative groups on-line, like our thinkfinity groups, schools can give teachers a place to collaborate, and teachers can do it when they find the time rather than having to go to a meeting at a time that is inconvenient for them.

By having collaborative on-line groups, it is easier for teachers to work with teachers in other content areas, who may not have the same schedule and same free periods.  It also makes collaboration less of an inconvenience because teachers can do it when they have the time. 

I think that recommending on-line collaboration would be a great thing.  I would definitely create an on-line collaborative group and see if other teachers in my school are interested.