Collaboration. (sigh) It seems every time I turn around someone is talking about it. I almost feel like I need to put a dollar in a “swear jar” whenever I hear the word “collaboration.”
I understand that collaboration is a necessary part of my job in order for my students to succeed. However, I feel like the expectations placed on me in this area are unobtainable. As much as I would like to be in more than one place at a time, it is just not possible (hence the need for super-human powers—and maybe Richard’s cape).
I do not have enough planning time in my schedule to meet with each teacher in my grade level to discuss accommodations and modifications on their lesson plans. I feel so overwhelmed just trying to check in with the teachers and provide meaningful accommodations for my students.
In addition to collaborating with my grade-level team, I am now a member of my school’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT). I am truly honored to be a part of the ILT, and it is yet another example of teachers getting together with the administration to collaborate. We have been collaborating on a theory of action for our school, outlining a data-driven path that our teachers can follow to increase our students’ comprehension.
However, can too much collaboration turn into a bad thing? This past week I have had meetings from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., then another meeting from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.—next thing I know we are picking up my students and beginning instruction at 9:07 a.m.
In Allisence’s most recent post, she talks about finding balance between professional life and personal life. I am struggling to find a balance between collaborating with my colleagues and planning for my own classroom and students. Is there a way to find a middle ground?
I feel so overwhelmed right now trying to make sure I collaborate with everyone that I need to. While I am so excited that teamwork is such a part of my school’s culture, I fear I am spreading myself too thin and not doing an effective job.
What have you done or seen teachers do to effectively collaborate with colleagues?