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Teacher Collaboration

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by

Ashley Graham

on 16 April 2014

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Transcript of Teacher Collaboration

Improving Teacher Collaboration
School Improvement Goal
According to research, more time for high quality teacher collaboration leads to student success. Although teachers at Spout Springs School of Enrichment were meeting weekly for collaborative planning, the collaboration was not focused or regular enough. Teachers needed more time for collaboration, and the collaboration needed to be more purposeful and part of a school-wide plan with clear goals and consistent practices used across all grade level teams. Each team needed to have a common agenda that would focus on provoking important conversations about instructional practices related to the school goals.

School Improvement Plan to Enhance Teacher Collaboration
Our School Leadership has provided teachers with sufficient time to identify student learning needs and share, review, and provide feedback on instructional practices that address these needs. All teachers are required to meet every Monday for one hour for Teacher Collaboration (2x per month), RTI Team Meetings (1x per month), and Professional Learning (1x per month). In addition to these Monday meetings, teachers are also required to meet at least one day during their planning period to collaborate.

In order to ensure that high quality, focused collaboration was occurring in the collaboration meetings, I created a Collaborative Planning Worksheet. This Collaborative Planning Worksheet was created with the GAPSS observation instrument as a tool. Being a part of two GAPSS teams this year allowed me to really focus not only on the strengths and weaknesses of the schools which were under review, but it also provoked reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of my own team and school. The Collaborative Planning Worksheet was created so that teacher collaboration would be purposeful and part of a school-wide plan with clear goals and consistent practices used across all grade level teams. Each team would have a common agenda and would focus on provoking important conversations about instructional practices related to the school goals.

The school leaders providing more time for teacher collaboration and the implementation of the Collaborative Planning Worksheet were simultaneous, and the school leadership requires that the Collaborative Planning Worksheet to be turned in by each team weekly.
Collaborative Planning Worksheet
Leadership Academy School Improvement Project: 2013-2014

Grade Level Collaborative Planning Pre-Survey: January 2014
Rating Scale: 0-Never 1-Rarely (1 week per month) 2-Occasionally (2 weeks per month) 3-Very Frequently (3 weeks per month) 4-Always (Every week)
Grade Level Collaborative Planning Post-Survey: March 2014
Rating Scale: 0-Never 1-Rarely (1 week per month) 2-Occasionally (2 weeks per month) 3-Very Frequently (3 weeks per month) 4-Always (Every week)
Teacher Survey
A survey was sent to each grade level Leadership Team representative. Each representative completed the survey with their grade level team. The following image displays the results from January before the implementation of the scheduled collaborative planning with the use of the Collaborative Planning Worksheet, and also two months after the implementation of the scheduled collaborative planning with the use of the Collaborative Planning Worksheet, in March.
Analysis of Results
There has definitely been significant progress since the implementation of the scheduled collaborative planning meetings, and the use of the Collaborative Planning Worksheet. The Collaborative Planning Worksheet has allowed teacher collaboration to be purposeful, consistent, and focused across all grade level teams. Each team has a common agenda and conversations about instructional practices related to the school goals are happening.

This tool, along with the scheduled meetings, have formalized both the processes and the expectations of collaborative meetings. We now have a tool for structuring our conversations, eliminating potential distractions, answering questions, and providing feedback. Teachers also know that when they go into these meetings, their investment of time will be worthwhile.

Our collaborative meetings continue to evolve, and there are still areas that need improvements. As we continue to focus on principles that are directly connected to our school and district priorities, improved teaching and learning will continue to take place. Both teachers and students will benefit from this continued collaborative planning.
By: Ashley Graham
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