Sunday, August 29, 2010

Topic 5- Collaborative Planning and Teaching

This week's topic was really relative for me. Colleagues and I have been attempting to instil collegial planning time to discuss our week ahead of learning and teaching and reflect on the week gone.
This has been anywhere between a ten to forty minute session and usually results in the week ahead planned and resources copied and developed. It is some of the most beneficial time of my whole week and it makes me wonder why there is not SOOOO much more of it happening.

Some reasons why it does happen:
* the two other staff members I plan with are good friends
* we work in the same office
* we share similar values and ideas
* we have planning opportunities together on a Friday

Some reasons why it doesn't happen more often:
* Staff don't get along
* Different offices
* Different approaches to teaching
* Unwillingness to change
* Unaware of the great benefits

The following quote off the Topic 5 module summed up my school:
"Schools that underplay collaboration are likely to focus on classroom management and teacher routines rather than on learning."

Also in the Todd reading:
"The strong belief in the value of instructional collaborations was tested by the day to day pressures of a school."

I often feel like I dont have the time to improve and be innovative and reflect and try new ideas because there is just SOOO much happening within the curriculum of the school community. There needs to be time available for this collegial planning to occur. Time is the single most important factor, followed by willingness of teachers to change their practices towards developing more team based approaches. As far as the Teacher Librarian is concerned, in a school where strong collaborative planning and teaching exists the involvement of the TL will be much easier and teachers more open and willing. In a school where there is less evidence of CPT it will be far more difficult for the TL.

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