Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lessons from the Limb #11 - It's a New School Year ... Time to Synchronize

Hello! We hope everyone is having a great school year so far. We just started school this week - which is super weird because we're in California NOT on the East Coast, but we're on a crazy schedule with construction that has been happening in our district. Anyway, happy first week of school to us and however many weeks to you.

If you can even believe it, this is our fourth year teaching collaboratively! We can hardly believe it ourselves!! Over the past three years of teaching together we've become more and more in sync in so many ways. There are innumerable things that just flow for us now as we've found common agreements and ways to make our program work.

We've also learned, though, that it's important not to take for granted that just because we've become more and more aligned, it doesn't necessarily mean that we're always on the same page. We also have learned how important it is to carve out some time to reflect and to refine our practice so that each year, while it might not herald ground breaking programmatic shifts, continues to improve upon what we've been doing. One way that we accomplish this is by getting together for a few hours in the summer and just going over our plans for the school year. This includes talking through all of our instructional programs, our organizational systems, and our new ideas that we want to implement for the upcoming year. We wanted to share with you the notes that we made from our summer meeting. While the content itself is probably a little bit cryptic in some parts and a lot bit specific to us personally, we hope it gives you an idea of the way that we talk through and improve upon what we're doing.

View the entire document here

So the FLY AWAY here is this: no matter how long you've been teaching together, it's always worth it to take some time to synchronize, particularly at the beginning of the year. Take some time to reflect on the last year - What worked great and what bugged you? What new things would you like to add? What can you let go of? What can you streamline? What are your hopes for the upcoming year? What are your concerns? Every relationship needs little tune-ups and a collaborative teaching partnership is no different so channel your inner synchronized swimmer and sync up!

From the limb,

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