Hope Reflection: E2

E2: Exemplify collaboration within the school.
This standard highlights the importance of teamwork, specifically within the teaching profession. During my internship, intentional, collaborative time was set aside after school every other Tuesday. All teachers of 10th grade English utilized this time to come together, plan and align units and lessons, share resources, make suggestions for adjustments as well as propose new ideas and inspirations. One of the teachers in our group explained to me that this opportunity to collaborate and share not only allowed teachers to fine-tune and refresh instructional strategies, activities and materials, but also to prevent stagnation and isolation.
I attended the bi-weekly meetings and was frequently given helpful resources and instructional ideas such as a Youtube video I used in my debate unit to help students understand how to use the Aristotelian appeals as a means of persuasion. Although not every teacher was able to attend each meeting, through my attendance, I realized how imperative it is that teachers have this time to collaborate, not only to share and learn from one another in order to prevent settling into a rut of comfort and predictability in instruction, but also to support one another through various highs and lows as well as to provide insights based on personal experiences—successes and failures.
Students directly benefit from this collaborative time as well, because not only are their teachers’ attitudes and outlooks positively affected, significantly improving classroom culture, but also, instruction is aligned, enhanced and refined which means students are receiving the most tailored and engaging instruction. As I begin teaching, one of my first steps will be to see what my school’s policy is for department and grade-specific meetings. If regular meetings are not in place, I would certainly be an advocate to establish bi-monthly meetings. I understand that a teacher’s time is always short, but I really do believe that such collaborative time significantly and positively benefits both instructors and students.