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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Pitch for a Shared Teaching Model

As part of the TLI Initiative, I was asked to draft a pitch for our shared teaching model at fifth grade. Here's my initial pitch. What would you add?

Pitch for a Shared Teaching Model at Fifth Grade

To: Interested Leaders, Community Members. Families, Educators, and Students

The once popular, and still numerous, one-teacher-one-classroom model of teaching and learning is a model that may lead to isolation, stagnation, and less learning. Instead, collaboration is key to teaching and learning today. In our world of ever increasing connectivity and complexity, we can’t do it alone anymore. 

We have to work together to design and implement optimal programs for teaching and learning so that every child meets success during his/her tenure at school. One good way to begin this collaboration is to utilize a shared teaching model at each grade level, subject area, or interdisciplinary group. That’s what our team decided to do last year. 

We began the effort by writing and presenting a proposal for a three-classroom shared teaching model at fifth grade. After a long wait and many revisions, our proposal was approved last June. Individually and collectively we worked over the summer to put everything in place, and then in September we began teaching 69 fifth graders together. 

The start of the project has been mostly successful. A recent survey, parent conferences, and a host of notes and accolades are evidence of that. But we still have more work to do to deepen and develop this model in ways that meet the promise of today’s wonderful resources, innovation, and broader collaboration with specialists, students, families, leaders, and community members. Our shared teaching model has the potential to transform what it means to be a teacher and student at our grade level and our school. 

The collaboration makes the job much more positive, interactive, and successful since we are always supporting one another and learning from and with each other. This is much better than the old time isolation we faced in the one-teacher-one-classroom model of the past. We hope that you’ll continue to support our current endeavor and our will and interest in developing this model in meaningful, deep, and empowering ways that matter!

Note: Add specific anecdotes, evidence