Collaborative Planning: Getting More Bang for your Buck
Collaborative planning involves a group of teachers (or pair) coming together to collaborate on lesson plans, activities, assessments, and instructional strategies that are aligned with the curriculum and learning objectives. Collaborative planning provides many benefits to teachers and students, such as:
Enhancing the quality of instruction: When teachers work together to plan lessons, they can bring different perspectives, skills, and experiences to the table. This can result in a more diverse and effective teaching approach that meets the needs of all students.
Saving time and reducing workload: Collaborative planning allows teachers to share the workload and divide responsibilities. By working together, they can create materials, assessments, and activities more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, teachers can be on the same page!
Fostering professional development: Collaborative planning provides opportunities for teachers to learn from one another, share best practices, and receive feedback on their teaching.
Improving student outcomes: When teachers collaborate, they can ensure that instruction is consistent and coherent across classes and grade levels! This can lead to improved student learning and achievement for your department and school.
Pacing: Team teachers' classrooms should mirror each other. You are free to have your own teaching style and classroom norms. However, assessments and pacing should be almost identical. This allows for a more accurate comparison when reviewing data. I developed a calendar that outlined what we were doing every single day using Google Docs. This document could be viewed by my assessing administrator and kept my team on one accord. Check it out below!
To implement teacher collaborative planning, schools should provide time and resources for teachers to meet and collaborate, establish a shared vision and goals for instruction, and provide ongoing professional development and support. It's easier said than done, but very possible. Teachers need a sense of community as well as students. Create pockets of time, I know it seems nonexistent, to work with your professional workgroup.