Teaching Is a Team Sport
We may wish for teacher collaboration, by itself, to improve learning, but the reality is more complex. What does team teaching look like in today’s schools? Do teachers have the skills and supports they need to make such collaboration work? How are teachers transforming their practice by working together?
Try to imagine an individual attempting to win a game all by herself, or a musician playing every instrument in an orchestra. We’re not talking about MVPs. Sure, a soloist can play beautifully, and it’s fun to watch Michael Jordan hit a game winning shot, but it takes a team to play a symphony and a team to win a championship. In our schools, teams of teachers working in concert is what truly has an influence on student learning and creates a collaborative 21st century school environment.
On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, ASCD Director of Member Engagement Kevin Scott (@Edu_Kevin_) and our panelists explore the benefits and challenges of educators working together to plan and deliver instruction.
Listen to the episode below or download here.
- Peter Anderson taught for several years in an award-winning charter school in Washington, D.C., and now teaches 7th grade English language arts at a public school in Northern Virginia. He currently serves as codirector for the Northern Virginia chapter of the National Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute. Connect with Anderson on Twitter @MrAndersonELA.
- Jeffrey Bradbury is currently the coordinator of technology integration for the Westwood Regional School District in New Jersey. He is an ASCD Emerging Leader, Google-certified teacher, Google education trainer, PBS learning media digital innovator, speaker, writer, broadcaster, consultant, and educational media specialist. He is the author of Kidblog: An Introduction to Blogging with Your Students and is the creator of TeacherCast.net, TeacherCast University, and Educational Podcasting Today. Connect with Bradbury @TeacherCast and @JeffBradbury.
- Gordon Stokes has spent his career in education focused on the learning and social-emotional needs of middle school students in Fairfax County, Va. A former 7th grade American history teacher and assistant principal, he became principal at Rachel Carson Middle School this past July. Stokes’ areas of expertise are teacher collaboration, curriculum development, and supervision of multiple curricular areas, and he has participated in and developed professional development opportunities in these areas for both teachers and administrators.
Find More Tips and Strategies
Classroom teachers and specialists, interdisciplinary classrooms, coaching relationships . . . find out how to make these coteaching approaches work in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Educational Leadership® magazine. The issue shares expert and practitioner ideas on defining the coteaching relationship, planning together, giving feedback to colleagues, and much more.
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What is the biggest challenge to team teaching?
The Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education seeks to inform and engage educators, parents, and community members about what works in today’s schools. Guests include educational leaders, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and students from around the globe who share their insights into sound education policies and practices that ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.