When teachers collaborate, students benefit. I'm fortunate to work on a team of diverse, dedicated thinkers which lifts the quality of discussions, decisions and instruction. When we meet, we combine our perspectives and vision to tweak, plan, create, and problem solve. Thanks to the commitment of the teachers on my team, I have grown substantially as an educator and continue to learn.
When collaboration doesn't work, students suffer. Teachers who won't go the extra mile to coordinate efforts or think ahead with regard to students' needs, interests and efforts hinder potential and possibility.
Schools are complex organizations with multiple roles and staff members. The structure of schools and defined roles often do not support collaboration. Common vision, shared goals, common planning time and administrative support will lead schools towards greater collaboration which in turn will benefit all students. Despite the obstacles that exist, teachers who care will continue to develop their collaborative skills to optimize student learning.