Throughout the course of the semester, I have been thinking and reflecting on how to be a better teacher. Students have the right to the best teachers in their schools. I believe that to be the best teachers, we (all teachers) need to work together. Collaborating with other educators around the world can help each classroom. At first I thought that I was not a good teacher if I depended on others for ideas for lessons. However, I realize now that if my students can have ideas from five different teachers instead of one, they will benefit from this.
According to Betty Achinstein, teacher collaboration has been a trend since the 1980’s. In her article, “Conflict Amid Community: Micropolitics of Teacher Collaboration”, Betty talks about the negative parts of teacher collaboration. She believes that teachers collaborating is problematic because teachers often have conflict when they join a community of teachers. The conflict is over differences in professional beliefs and practices. I completely disagree with Betty. Sure there is always the people that will come into conflict about having different beliefs and practices. However, these differences are what make us unique individuals. I think having conflict is a good thing because it shows that they teachers have thought about what they believe and feel passionate about these beliefs. I think it is passion that drives each teacher. Without any passion, a teacher cannot teach well.
Collaboration is so important. There are several different ways that teachers can collaborate. First, collaboration with the teachers in the same school as you is important. As new educators it is important for us to learn from those that have been in this profession for longer than we have. Co-teaching is one way of collaborating with other teachers and the staff in your schools. Here is a video to show how these strategies can be used.
Another way to use collaboration, is to use the internet to collaborate with others around the world. There are websites that promote teacher collaboration using technology. This website gives several ideas how teachers can collaborate. Also, using technology like blogs and twitter allow teachers to connect and bounce ideas off of each other.
The most important lesson that I learned from this class is that working with others is vital. I know that especially in my first year of teaching I am going to need others to help me along the way. I am so glad that I am aware of ways that I can reach out and collaborate with others.