Previously, we discussed how finding time to plan lessons can be difficult for teachers and how to find that time. Along with planning lessons, teachers also have to find time to collaborate with other teachers and school administration to:
- Grow professionally
- Create an effective learning environment
- Improve student success
It may be difficult to find the time to collaborate, but in making the effort, you can be sure you are doing what you can to provide quality care and lessons to your students.
Implement Teacher Meeting Days
Devoting a day of the week to teacher collaboration can be an effective way of getting needed planning done. For example, some Maryland schools have set aside Fridays for teachers to collaborate while grades take turns having a free activity time during certain times of the day. During those times, teachers will be able to take turns collaborating and teaching their classes.
Utilize Online Resources
There are many online resources to not only help teachers manage their time, but schedule meetings and share ideas. Scheduling sites like Doodle can help teachers find a time where everyone is available. Services like Skype or Google Hangouts are also good tools to get together with other teachers outside of school hours when you cannot meet in person. File sharing sites likeDropbox allow teachers to easily share files with each other and get instant notifications when a file is updated.
Meet During Lunch Breaks
You may want to spend your lunch break relaxing and taking some time to yourself, but it is a good time to talk with your fellow teachers and squeeze in some collaboration. Talk to other teachers about getting together at lunch to discuss lesson plans. Since you have a limited time for lunch, discuss only the more immediate issues like what to do about arts and crafts on Friday.
If you and other teachers have found time to collaborate, make sure you come prepared. Not only will going in to a meeting unprepared be unprofessional and counterproductive, but a waste of time—especially if you do not have much to contribute. Make notes beforehand and bring all the necessary papers with you like your daily planner and lesson plans.