The Connected Educator: Quote # 4

In this quotation Linda Darling-Hammond and her colleagues describe how teachers need to learn how to collaborate. While studies show that collaboration between colleagues leads to “growth of personal teaching practices and student achievement,” many teachers still choose to keep to themselves instead of collaborating with their colleagues. I find this to be a sad fact. Like Rob said in class, there are many teachers who simply do not want people to “steal” their lesson plans and choose to isolate themselves from learning and growing along with other teachers. As teachers, I feel that we have the responsibility to helping our students learn and grow to the best of our abilities. In order to help all students, collaboration is a must! If we have great material that we know works, why not share it! It will help other students! I bet that the teachers you collaborate with will have awesome stuff to share with you as well!

I have always stuck to that famous saying: “two heads are better than one” when it comes to teaching! My hope is that more teachers will be open to this philosophy in order to help their students. My question is: How can we persuade teachers who refuse to collaborate?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Connected Educator: Quote # 4

  1. J. C.

    I would say, “don’t.” In teaching a new subject this year, and doing countless Google searches, I’ve found MORE than enough content, ideas, and thoughts on the three courses I teach. The challenge is not access to available content — there is enough — but the challenge is coherently assembling them in a way that works for oneself and one’s students, and that’s a major challenge and a personal one.

    As far as to get a morale boost from peers, and for question-answer forums and discussion boards online where one needs direct assistance on a matter, a teacher can join Edmodo, AtoZ Teacher Forums, or the many subject-area groups that exist. To find those (the subject-area groups), keep Googling and keep asking others. In one of my subjects, it took me 6 months to find a group I enjoy and truly find helpful. It was there all along, I just had to find it.

    It sometimes takes more than one try, with different keywords, but professional organizations, non-profits, and individual teachers are already providing plenty of lesson plans, activities, projects, and worksheets.

    And — your building will change at the pace that it changes. I’m sure someone in the building, even if they teach a different grade or subject, likes you, has a similar style, or appreciates you. It might not be your next door neighbor or your department head. Don’t expect it to be; that’s just reality.

    Good post!

  2. roblyons

    I believe that it’s tough to persuade anybody to change the way they teach, and quite honestly I don’t think we should expect them to change. I do believe however, that many of these folks are just so passionate about what they teach that neither you or I could possibly have anything to offer them… Yeah – those are the ones that I like to get a hold of. Those are your allies; your catalysts. It takes baby steps and small victories to win them over, but once they’ve tipped toward your direction, you’ve got them won.

    But for right now the only thing you can control is how you teach, learn, share, and participate in profesional communities. I think this is something we all need to master for our own professional growth. It starts with our own paths. We can lead the way by being learners first. Share what you learn with your colleagues. Build trust, and trust that they will eventually find their own way there as well.

  3. Jess you make some great points! I also feel that “two heads are better than one,” because by being open to learning from others we will be able to offer more to our students and even become better educators. Also, that’s a great question that you have and I hope that within our careers we will come across more people who are willing to share their ideas than those who are not.

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