Should You Collaborate? The Benefits of Collaboration For New and Seasoned Teachers

It is not practical for any new or seasoned teacher to work in isolation. Unfortunately, many teachers work under difficult time and curriculum pressures. Since school districts do not provide teachers with much needed specific guidelines on how to collaborate, teachers need to develop their own collaborative plan. This leaves many teachers to feel isolated and they do not feel comfortable initiating their own collaborative plan. And unfortunately, many school districts have yet to prioritize the importance of collaboration as a critical aspect of new teacher survival.

However in some districts, districts provide a model for collaboration. A Model is a system of guidelines usually given to teachers by administration. Teachers are expected to follow such models, which may take different forms. Each model has its own set and weaknesses.

So let’s talk a bit about why collaboration is beneficial and important for teachers. In a collaborative context, teachers realize the benefits of working together. Collaboration saves time and maximizes curriculum. Further, teachers spend less time working in isolation. Their own collaborative process is unique because it reflects their experience and goals.

The first step in creating a collaborative plan is to know students’ capabilities. As part of our collaborative plan, we started out creating a working definition of our struggling English language learners in ESL and general education settings. We wanted to create a possible model for implementing collaboration techniques.

Of course, we knew we would also need to monitor ourselves on implementing the guidelines. In a collaborative plan, teachers also monitor themselves on implementing the guidelines. They also document the progress of their students and the plan as a whole to ensure ongoing success.

Different teachers also share similar instructional goals even though curriculum may differ in different educational settings. When teachers successfully develop a plan for their own collaboration, they ensure that their instructional goals and objectives will be met. it makes sense then to learn what works for other teachers so they can meet the needs of their own struggling readers and English language learners.