E2 – Exemplify collaboration within the school.
Teacher candidates participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities and using appropriate and respectful verbal and written communication.
In order for functions in the school to be well organized, teachers in all grade level need to work together and collaborate with each other. During internship, my mentor teacher and I exemplified collaboration with other teachers in the school by taking two groups of our students to four classes to perform a reader’s theater for a script titled “How the Dragon Got His Sleep.” Reader’s theater is used to promote fluency while learning to read aloud with expression and confidence. I was in charge of preparing and coaching the two groups of students for their performances of the script. My mentor teacher emailed the kindergarten and first grade teachers to see if they would be interested in having our students perform the script in their classrooms. Four teachers responded, two kindergartens and two first grades, and I took our students to those classrooms to perform. As evidence, I have attached a photo of a guide I have been using to coach students of appropriate reading in readers theater and a photo of one of the groups performing for the second time (to first grade audience).
Collaboration is a form of coordination that can improve organizational performance by encouraging creativity and integration around content. In “A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Teacher Collaboration for School Improvement and Student Achievement in Public Elementary Schools” by Yvonne Goddard and Roger Goddard of University of Michigan, when teachers collaborate, they share experiences and knowledge that can promote learning for instructional improvement. Goddard and Goddard explain that collaboration among teachers encourages teachers to move beyond reliance on their own teaching style. Teachers should engage in experiences with schooling and with others around important questions of teaching and learning. Collaboration allows for the sharing of ideas and teaching strategies that are taking place in one classroom and pass them on to another (Goddard and Goddard).
I have experienced Goddard and Goddard conclusion first hand in my experience of leading the groups in the reader’s theaters. After visiting the four classes with my students, I have experienced the positive outcome in collaborating with other teachers. My students were not only excited to visit another classroom environment; they were excited to read their scripts as well. Having an audience motivated them to use all of the techniques they learned about reading with fluency and with expression and confidence. It was also a positive experience for the teachers because they saw the potential readers theaters have in influencing the way students think about reading. One teacher was so interested that she wanted to teach an upcoming reading lesson using Readers Theater. In the end of the reader’s theater, I learned that it is important to work with other teachers in the school. Whether it’s simple things like sending your students to another classroom for reader’s theaters or planning a school assembly, it is important to work together and learn from one another (Goddard and Goddard).
Goddard, Roger D, and Yvonne L Goddard. “A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Teacher Collaboration for School Improvement and Student Achievement in Public Elementary Schools.” Teachers College Record 109.4: 877-97. Illinois State University. Teachers College, Columbia University. Web. 2/18. <http://education.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/casei/collaboration_studentachievement.pdf>.