E2– Exemplify collaboration within the school. When teachers work together, they can support each other and develop best practices for improving student learning. Though each teacher will have to make individual decisions to meet the needs of each of his or her classes, it can be useful for teachers to give similar lessons or give common assessments to make sure students are consistently held to high standards across the department. When I began observing the classes of my English mentor, Mr. Moore, all of the sophomore English teachers were starting a research writing project that they planned collaboratively. During one of the first lessons, students learned to evaluate web resources using the CRAAP test excerpted above. When I asked Mr. Moore where the tool originated, he said that a former staff member had learned about it in her college days and spread it through the school.
One of the ways that ideas and resources are shared is in professional learning communities (PLCs). I attended weekly PLC meetings with Mr. Moore and the two other sophomore English teachers. Since the students were working on a common project, we were able to share their successes and challenges and give each other suggestions for improving student learning. I think that the instructional product that students received was at a higher quality because it had been reviewed and revised multiple times in the PLC. It was great to collaborate with teachers at the same grade level, but I would also like to practice working with teachers across grade and content levels.