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TXTS 4 Teachers

Professional Collaboration: Teamwork makes a dream work

Marlys WeaverStoesz

“You Are Not Alone:  The Power of Professional Collaboration”

In October, we examined various facets of developing our students into collaborative learners.  We began the month with Dr. Jeff Zweirs’ contention, “the process of learning is actually a social venture, and interactions such as conversations (and specifically academic conversations) [help] students to enhance and broaden their comprehension of a specific topic profoundly and in a meaningful way” (Zweirs, 2014).

What are teachers but lifelong learners?  If learning is “actually a social venture” for students, would not the same hold true for teachers?  Yet, teacher burn-out is frequently associated with a sense of isolation.

Hence, our November TXT4 Teachers will plunge into professional collaboration, which goes by many names such as “teaming,” “Professional Learning Communities (PLCs),” or “shared leadership.”  No matter the nomenclature, the intentional sharing of best practices, data analysis, and instructional planning holds the power to open previously closed classroom doors and transform this beloved profession.

We kick-off the month with “A History of Teaming,” which relates how one school’s teaming efforts have evolved.  As you watch the video, consider how the school exemplifies the definition of collaboration:  “teams of teachers who work interdependently to achieve common goals – goals linked to the purpose of learning for all – which members are held mutually accountable” [emphasis added] (DuFour, DuFour, and Eaker, 2008).

Stay tuned for more tips and tools on Thursday!