Last week (week 6) Jo, Sarah and I facilitated a PD session on Collaboration. We mused for some time on the best way to get the most effect for our short one hour and fifteen min session. We wanted to determine where our base line needed to be, accepting that our staff has a range of experience and knowledge about collaboration. After some discussion we decided that our priorities were:
1. Keep working on the ‘why’ without which we won’t get buy in.
2. We want to establish a common language
3. We want our staff to know right from the outset that there is a variety of co teaching models and that in any one day, they may employ different models.
4. We wanted them to visualise how the different models might work in the context of their own collaborative team.
We used a self - reflection from “the co- teaching book of lists” that asked people to identify what it is that they contribute to a team. They then got together with their collaborative team and talked about their similarities and differences.
Next we used the jigsaw expert grouping strategy to get people to unpack the different models of co teaching. The initial work was done in their PLG’s and the expert sharing was back in their collaborative teams.
In our initial discussions we were going to give the groups their information to unpack, we then decided that as we wanted people to know that there is now a wealth of information on co teaching, we would get people to find their own information. We set up a shared folder and google docs with prompts for people to contribute to. This served to be successful, and hopefully they did not feel condescended to. I feel as though we are currently walking a fine line as a SLT. We want to support and not spoon - feed and therefore disempower people. The advantage of having two, eager to help walking DP’s is that we are willing and able to advise, help, find, create in order to help overwhelmed staff get set up in this new school. The disadvantage could be that we are rushing in to help where giving team leaders time to sort things out for themselves might be more empowering for them. It feels like a fine line.
We ended the session by sharing a google doc on which we had put a selection of links to clips and articles on collaboration. We asked them to view some and reflect on their blogs.
It was and is our intention to scaffold our staff so that every person feels as though collaboration is a school wide, shared pedagogy that provides the best opportunities for our tamariki.