December 3, 2015 by

Teaching Is a Team Sport

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Whole Child Podcast 300x300We 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.

Panelists

  • 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.
  • 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.

Access these articles on the go with the free Educational Leadership app, available for download in iTunes, Google Play, or the Amazon Appstore. If you do not currently receive Educational Leadership magazine, subscribe now to stay informed about new ideas and best practices for educators.

 What is the biggest challenge to team teaching?

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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.

Klea Scharberg is project manager for Whole Child Programs at ASCD where she works to build awareness and perform outreach for the Whole Child Initiative. The initiative is part of a broad, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from an academic focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes, enhancing learning by addressing each student's social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers.