Teacher’s job is one of the most rewarding and at the same time one of the hardest jobs out there. There is, however, something all teachers – whether they work at school or university – can do to make their own lives easier and bring more value to their students… Collaborate with each other more!
Studies show that students achieve more when their teachers are collaborating more and there is the feeling of trust and solidarity among their peers.
Here are some tips for being a better collaborator:
#1 Find Time to Collaborate
This sounds like something obvious, but if you don’t deliberately find and set off time to collaborate, there is usually no successful collaboration at all. Shared planning makes it easier for teachers to collaborate. Ideally, the school will provide you with extra time to collaborate with your colleagues, but if not – you can always push them to do so.
It’s a great idea to collaborate outside school as well. Useful tools like CollaboraZon will make it easier to share documents and files, schedule meetings, discuss and collaborate wherever you are.
#2 Share the Responsibility
Teams that perform best collaborate and communicate best. Don’t be afraid to talk openly with your colleagues about expectations, goals, ideas, time at disposal etc. Who likes doing what? How much time do you have? What has to be done and planned together, and what’s easier to do separately? How can you help each other? These are just some of the questions that can help you work better together.
#3 Build Relationships and Be There for Each Other
We all know that teaching can be emotionally draining – but when you and your colleagues support each other emotionally, everything is easier. And it is also great for the future teamwork and collaboration.
Whether something nice or not so nice happened, it’s great to have someone to share it with.
#4 Cultivate a Culture of Support
Everything is easier when there is a culture of support at the school. Everyone should feel free to ask for help or offer help at any time. Students benefit from this, the school benefits and the teachers benefit.
Whatever your challenges are, the chances are – someone has dealt with the similar situation and they may have a solution or useful advice.
Extra tip: Making an internal document where teachers can have collective know-how, tips and advices at one place is a great idea – from administrative things to lecturing tricks or practical exercises or games to try with students.
#5 Have Some Fun!
A little fun and positive attitude is always helpful and appreciated. Imagine that you had a rough day. A simple smile, shared cup of coffee or a friendly anecdote can make it a lot better… And remember that you can also be someone else’s helpful smile for a rough day the same way.
If each of us did just a little extra, everyone would thrive!