Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Collab Effectively

As teachers we like to incorporate collaboration into our classroom. When students learn from one another, they learn more than just content - they learn to challenge each other, question themselves, and incorporate teamwork. All of this is important to teachers too. 

But how often do we collaborate when we're not forced to for our PLC's???

Today I met up with another instructor and LEARNED from her. It was by choice and it was a good reminder as to why we need to collaborate with each other regularly. 

Who Should We Collaborate With?
1. Teachers in our content area

2. Teachers outside of our content area

3. Administrators in various positions

4. Business people outside of the education sector

Why the Variety?
We learn valuable information from talking to different people. You never know what you could learn or what opportunities will present themselves. 

In a recent meeting with an entrepreneur, I learned about better communication and how to be more effective as a leader. As a result, we decided to collaborate on a writing curriculum.  It is because this person was outside of education that I learned these skills and was offered this opportunity. 

How Do I Effectively Collab?
1. Come in with a plan - Be prepared with what you want to get out of your meeting...but be flexible.

2. Ask about that person - Learn about their specialty and be open to learning their skills.

3. Plan - Be aware of what you will implement post collaboration. Maybe you learned a new skill you want to practice professionally. Maybe you experienced a new type of teaching or activity that you want to put in place. Be aware of what it is that you want and create and action plan.

4. Follow-Up - Always follow up.  Be kind, grateful and interested in that person.  

Most of all, remember that we need to be excited about all of the opportunities that come from collaborating with others!  From collaboration comes learning, growth, and influence!

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