Collaboration in education | Klassly
Collaboration in education
Teacher collaboration means working together as a team in order to achieve a common goal: student learning and achievement. Academic success depends on teachers pulling together and collaborating as a team. Just like with parent-teacher communication, teacher collaboration has to be consistent and regular. Keep reading this article to find out more about the advantages of teacher collaboration.
1. Benefits of teacher collaboration
Most educators agree that teacher collaboration is good for both students and teachers. When teachers work together, it’s a win-win for them, the students and the school. Teachers gain a sense of community and shared responsibility when they work together. It allows them to step back and collectively assess their instructions and classroom management. However, most importantly, there is a noticeable improvement in the school when teachers collaborate. No matter how experienced a teacher may be, all teachers can benefit from sharing ideas and contributing to each other’s practices. Teacher collaboration also allows teachers to gather and design lesson plans that work by sharing successes and proposing changes to existing lesson plans in a safe and supportive environment. This leads to higher student achievement. When teachers collaborate, students benefit from engaging and quality lessons as well as the experience of several experts. The bottom line is when teachers excel, so do the students.
2. Effective teacher collaboration
While many teachers and administrators believe that teacher collaboration is important, it is not always commonly practiced in schools. Many schools do not have a professional learning community (PLC). PLCs are groups of teachers that meet regularly to work together and share their expertise in order to improve their teaching skills and the academic performance of their students. In many schools, many teachers simply don’t have the time to meet for teacher collaboration. There are also personality conflicts that can discourage some teachers from seeking to collaborate with their colleagues. For effective teacher collaboration, schools need to create a collaboration-friendly culture. This can be done by establishing a clear, specific and compelling vision, assigning tasks and roles to teachers who are personally invested in them, expanding leadership roles, and making coordination easy.
3. The benefits of technology in teacher collaboration
Due to the lack of time, coordinating a PLC is not always easy to do. Technology can be extremely useful for implementing effective teacher collaboration. If you don’t have the possibility to organize in-person PLCs, you can try creating a virtual PLC on a digital platform. The secure and free app Klassly can provide educators with a platform where they can easily communicate and share lesson plans. With Klassly, teachers can communicate privately or in groups and even hold video conferences. Furthermore, all your personal data is completely safe on Klassly, unlike other digital platforms.
4. Teacher collaboration strategies
To be successful, teachers have to want to work with one another and not feel forced to. Although it might not be easy at first, it’s possible to improve collaboration skills with practice. Here are some things you can do to achieve successful teacher collaboration:
Establish mutual goals and develop a shared vision;
Foster a sense of community and belonging;
Establish group rules and expectations;
Use discussion to overcome conflicts;
Assign rotating roles to avoid conflicts;
Prepare an agenda before PLC meetings and distribute it to all the members;
When possible, PLCs should be built into the master schedule.
Although it may take time, implementing these strategies can help you to develop a strong collaborative culture in your school. By sticking to it, effective teacher collaboration can improve the academic performance of students and allow teachers to advance their skills, knowledge and beliefs regarding the learning process.