Conversations with Tim: Collaboration: The power of working together to serve students
In this edition of Conversations with Tim, Tim talks to expert collaborators Andrea Honigsfeld and Jon Nordmeyer. Together, they discuss how collaboration among colleagues can transform student learning and school communities.
Andrea is a professor in the School of Education and Human Services at Molloy University where she teaches graduate courses on cultural and linguistic diversity, language and literacy development, and equity. Jon is the international programs director at WIDA. Jon guides the research, development and implementation of WIDA resources to support multilingual learners in international schools.
Tim, Andrea and Jon joined Merideth Trahan, WIDA chief of staff, to discuss how collaboration among colleagues can transform student learning and school communities. Plus, they talk about why collaboration has the potential to make your teaching and learning even more fun!
As you read and/or listen to this edition of Conversations with Tim, look for these top takeaways:
- Collaboration can start with one conversation about one child, one lesson or one strategy. It’s a way of recognizing that academic language learners are in every classroom. Every child is developing academic discourse and academic language proficiency.
- Collaboration isn’t one more thing to add to your already full plate. Collaboration is your plate! When we plan together, it lowers the burden and amount of work on one person. The lesson that's co-planned can be in every fourth grade classroom.
- When we collaborate with colleagues, we have someone who can help us unpack situations. It reduces isolation – the emotional, pedagogical and intellectual isolation, and gives us that lifeline to a colleague to co-reflect.
- When we invite failure, we also invite experimentation, risk taking and vulnerability. When teachers present their authentic, imperfect selves, we're able to share that with students and help them develop those 21st century skills of collaborating.
- Take an asset-based approach to your own collaboration. Rather than finding things that don't work, like there never being enough time or resources, let's focus on what is there. What are the assets and strengths?