I'll start with the end in mind.
Be a warrior for the kids you work with.
Sharing resources is great, don't get me wrong - but is that being collaborative?
My current school leadership is very supportive of working collaboratively and we have designated planning times, allocated time to plan, support for team mentors, time for SIT (School Improvement Team) to meet, dedicated staff meetings to support all staff. PLC (Professional Learning Community) to work on curriculum, Team Mentors who timetable planning in our meetings and as the Leading Teacher for Mathematics and Digital Technology I get to meet with my Principal once a week, I am currently released to do that.
Our Professional Learning is geared toward making improvements and supporting staff.
Our school community is lucky.
...to give a portion of what you do to someone without commitment or follow through
...is when two or more people work together to complete a shared project with clear shared goals
...is when you are equal partners
...is working from the beginning to the end together with a high motivation to succeed together
...is very similar to cooperation
...is the opposite of competition
We talk about planning with other teachers all the time.
We get together with planning partners, in teams, in a staff groups and in teams to work on a curriculum focus.
We say our teams have the same focus - we say our schools are working in the same direction as our curriculum suggests - we say we are working toward a common approach.
We actually believe this is what we do.
We are time poor and in one hour a week we cannot be collaborative from start to finish, so we end up dividing tasks into components and working on segments and then sharing.
This is not wrong - it is the reality of our day, week, term, year!
We have planning days or planning mornings and we work so hard to get whet we get done, we cannot truly be collaborative in the true sense of the word.
We try to work together, we try to put together planning documents and in the end we share!
In our time poor week we need to strive to be collaborative.
Start small - work closely with one teacher.
In our teams - most of us call these Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) we need to have scheduled planning time - not just sharing time.
Schools need to allocate time release for planning partners to plan - I'm lucky as my school does.
We can make connections outside our school to see what others do and how we can strive to do better. These two lovely ladies, with me in the above photo (I'm in the middle), teach in two different towns and we catch up when we can and it is always interesting to see how other schools manage workloads and curriculum.
Through instagram I have met these lovelies - and as we widen our network we begin to understand that every school faces the same issues and we are all working towards being a better teacher and being the best we can be.
Check out other blogs - pinterest, instagram (any social media) are full of ideas that can be used to motivate your planning.
This blog and our facebook are great motivators too!
We need to evaluate what we do - what we deliver and give feedback about our planning.
Again - I am lucky as I team teach with a great teacher - Stacey.
We can talk about what we do, re assess on the run and change our planning to suit our kids.
Stacey and I motivate each other to look new things together - this is our our third year and our second team teaching.
We have built our knowledge around Six Traits Plus One, Literature Circles, Reciprocal Reading, Words Their Way, Daily 5, Inquiry v Investigation, Science Topics, Design Tech and Digital Technology - to name a few!!!!!
It is exhausting to collaborate but is also amazing!
Take the plunge and be a warrior for the kids you work with.