You’ve heard these words thrown around together quite a bit. What does teacher collaboration really mean and why is it important? The purpose of teacher collaboration is to increase student learning and knowledge. Teachers gain knowledge and see different perspectives in teaching and the teaching process.
One Teach, One Observe
In the classroom, one teacher will teach and one will observe. After the lesson they will come together and talk about what worked, and what didn’t work. How can the lesson be more efficient? How was student engagement? Being open to constructive criticism is key to improving as an educator. There is always something new to learn and a way you can improve in your teaching.
Parallel Teaching is when you and another teacher come together and give the same instruction to two different groups. This teaching style will require a lot of planning to make sure that the same instruction is taught. After the lesson, the teachers will share what worked and what did not work in each group. This style is especially helpful because while the two teachers are teaching the exact same thing in the exact same way, they will have different ideas to share on the improvement of the lesson and the two groups of students will respond differently and allow the teachers to learn from their experiences.
Sometimes this is also called co-teaching. This teaching style is when both teachers are teaching the entire class at the same time. When paired with the right teacher, this can turn out great! Classroom management can really benefit from the team teaching style, too. With two adults in the room, the teachers may be less stressed about watching every behavior. The teachers also may be able to take a bathroom break when they actually need it instead of waiting until lunch!
One Teach and One Assist
One teacher will teach and the other will assist. This works great when you have some students needing some extra help during instruction. It is also great when you have a behavior issue that may affect other student’s learning. Some teachers are stronger in one subject than another, so they will assist the other teacher during that subject. Then they can swap and become the “lead teacher” when they are in a subject they’re stronger in. This style of teaching also allows extra prep time for the teacher who is not teaching directly at any given moment. With two teachers teaching to their strengths, your students will benefit!
Zoom and Google Classroom
Many of us are being affected by distance learning and teacher collaboration looks different than it did even just six months ago. After school meetings and teacher reviews are taking place over a video service like Zoom and many teachers are utilizing Google Classroom more than ever to help teach their lessons.
No matter how you collaborate with other teachers, you will need to be flexible. Communication is the key to success. Have respect for each other’s teaching styles and be open to constructive criticism. You may need to seek support from your administration to organize collaboration, but you will find that it’s worth it. In this teaching environment, we need all the help we can get!