There is a lot of deep teaching and learning happening in my classes and all around me. Teachers continue to shift from one-time lessons to deeper, more meaningful, and challenging units of study. This is especially true at my grade level since our newly revised shared teaching model gives us the time to dig in and teach deeply.
What does this mean for my practice and for our collaboration?
First, it means that we have to spend time wisely. When we meet, the meetings need to be targeted, efficient, and meaningful. We keep an online list of talking/teaching points to discuss which helps.
Next, it means that we have to use our planning and prep time well. If we want to teach deeper we have to make the time it takes to deepen the learning path with greater research, more careful learning experience preparation, good data collection and analyses (formal and informal), and more targeted, meaningful response.
Also, we have to create routines that strengthen our time for relationship building and lessen the time for simple, practical matters such as signing in, collecting field trip money and permission slips, and handing out notices.
Further, it's important that while we work together, we also have to let each other lead our areas of expertise. This gives each of us focus areas to research, plan for, and share with one another. Yet, during RTI (Response to Intervention) times when we are all teaching, we can benefit from our colleagues' points of view, experience, and ideas with regard to the our areas of focus.
This week we'll send out a survey to the learning team to collect their ideas and thoughts related to our shared model. As part of the Center of Teacher Quality Initiative I'm partaking in, I'll analyze the results. Then as a team, we'll talk about how that information will impact our work going forward. Also as part of this study I plan to do some research related to shared teaching topics. I'll also embed that work into the model in the days and weeks ahead. Onward.