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Forest Lake Elementary School in Columbia, S.C., places a high value on teachers' collaborative time, says Principal Kappy Cannon. On everything from team planning to classroom observations to resource sharing, teachers at this elementary school regularly work together.
Every other week, grade-level teams meet in the Collaborative Corner to plan interdisciplinary lessons and units with support from the school's instructional technology specialist, curriculum coordinator, and media specialist. New teachers find support through their colleagues and by participating in monthly meetings where they can discuss their challenges and successes. Also during monthly staff meetings, teachers share new technology resources and tips.
Regularly, teachers visit one another's classrooms to gain inspiration and insight. "It's a nonthreatening type of process, and you can get just that one snapshot of going into someone else's room and seeing how they have taken the same information that you have been given and they are using it in a different way," Cannon says.
Media specialist Lizzie Padget credits the school's success to its collaborative spirit. "I think that's one thing that that makes this school special," says Padget. "It's a part of everything we do."
And, Padget adds, "We like each other."
How do teachers in your school foster a collaborative spirit?
Source: Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ukO7YUOYTM
ASCD Express, Vol. 6, No. 19. Copyright 2011 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.
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