CorePlanner Blog

7/21/2014

Let's Collaborate!


I’ve learned so many valuable lessons and skills by collaborating with colleagues. As a special education teacher, I have profound respect for the importance of collaboration. When two teachers come together to discuss what’s best for student learning, amazing things happen!

I want to share some things I’ve learned to improve collaboration so that you can cut to the chase and spend your time focusing on what matters.

1. Put it on the calendar

a. Collaboration grows more effective with practice. Add collaboration sessions with colleagues to both of your calendars and repeat the appointment at set intervals. Focus on those small things which can make a big difference, like calendar reminders and including location details. You want your colleagues to understand how much you respect their time.

2. Set an agenda. Then, stick to it.

a. Make sure that all attending the session know what will be discussed and have adequate time to prep. And this is key: stick to the set topics. Think about taking turns acting as moderator of the agenda. When one of you strays, the colleague moderating should redirect the group to stay on task.

3. Share files

a. Give everyone a chance to access and edit the files being discussed. Preparation is no good, unless those you are working with can see what you’ve been working on. Thankfully, CorePlanner’s software makes this easy.

4. Define respect

a. I mentioned this on my blog. Respect is universally desired but looks different for each of us. For the purposes of your collaboration make sure that you have a set procedure for respectfully providing feedback and for sharing ideas.

5. Be open

a. The beauty of collaboration is that you get exposed to ideas you hadn’t thought of. Be open to your colleagues interpretations of the content and their ideas about lesson delivery. Two heads are better than one!

Any tips you would add? Have a favorite lesson you’ve created through collaboration? We’d love to feature you!
Hugs,
- Annie Krut, M.Ed.
anniekrut@eighthugs.com

Annie is on a mission to teach kids the skills they need to be happy. She’s using neuroscience, the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Get the curriculum at www.eighthugs.com and join the conversation on Twitter: @eighthugs