LOTS131 - HowDoYouCollaborate?


Manage episode 307693185 series 1235650
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Show Notes: On our panel shows, we start with a goofy question, and as we are releasing this just before thanksgiving, what’s a Thanksgiving side dish that you have that may not be on everyones table? - Kelly Kluthe: gooey butter cake - Sedate Kohler: cheesy potatoes #Wisconsin - Lee Ferguson: The most decadent scalloped potatoes ever. - Aaron Mathieu: Mashed turnips and carrots. Let’s talk about school culture. How big is the science department in your school? Are you expected to collaborate? - Sedate: 7 people. 4 of us teach Biology, 3 teach Chemistry. Those two teams collaborate frequently, to varying degrees. Most of us also teach courses that we call “singletons”, and don’t have any others who teach the same course. - Lee: There are 30 of us on campus, with another 10 at the STEAM center across town, but they are their own entity. As a department there isn’t collaboration among all of us since that really takes place in teams. - Kelly: There are 3 of us: Me (biology), a chem/physical science, and a part-time environmental science/genetics & eugenics teacher. We collaborate with general science skills and with vertical alignment. - Aaron: We are ~20 with 8 Biology Teachers. We have a strong collaborative culture. Do you have any colleagues that you collaborate with to plan, develop, reflect with? Are these teachers in your building or from professional communities/PLCs? How long have you been working together? - Lee: I have my team, which I am forever grateful for. In our current iteration we have worked together for the past year. There is one teammate that I have worked with for 5 years now. I also have an extensive network of colleagues that I’ve built over the past 18 years that I can collaborate with, and often do. - Kelly: I definitely work with the other science teachers in my building to plan vertical alignment. Learn general teaching techniques.. Outside of my building, I collaborate a lot with people in KABT and UKanTeach grads. We’ve been working together since undergrad. Twitter/Facebook. - Sedate: I have two people who I’ve been working closely with since 2019 Fall. - Aaron: I tightly collaborate with 1 teacher who is new to our building for honors, but help coordinate our whole honors team and I collaborate with 1 teacher for AP. He is my work husband and we’ve been working together for 21 years. Collaboration involves a lot of things that can be challenging in the time crunch of the school year: Building trust, letting others take the lead, sharing resources, and being vulnerable. Does your school do anything to make collaboration easier? If not, what could it do? - Kelly: We have one dedicated hour of PLC each week, but I wish it were more. We also have schedules that allow us to observe each other. I’m observed each week and I often have the chance to sit in on other classes. - Sedate: This year we have a new school schedule which has made collaboration (theoretically) a lot easier - Monday - Wednesday we have a “department prep” in addition to a personal prep hour. We are on a hybrid block schedule, so M-W are 47 minutes and Th-F are 90 minutes / class. Th-F our preps are both our own. - Lee: The only thing that my school really does to make this a little easier is require that we have PLC twice a week for 30 minutes each time. We don’t get much time on district PD days to collaborate--it’s almost an afterthought. :( - Aaron: We have (new this year) early release days each month for collaborative time. It would be good if that time was not taken up with district initiatives. Credits: Please subscribe to Life of the school on your podcast player of choice! Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/LOTS Music by: https://exmagicians.bandcamp.com/ Show Notes at Lifeoftheschool.org You can follow on twitter @MrMathieuTweets or @lifeoftheschool

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