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Concrete Steps to Transform Teacher Collaboration for Increased Student Learning


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Rolffs, Deanna & Murphy, Mary Kay. Concrete Steps to Transform Teacher Collaboration for Increased Student Learning. Presented at the AdvanceED Conference of the Michigan Department of Education in April 2014.

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Concrete Steps to Transform Teacher Collaboration for Increased Student Learning

  1. 1. Concrete Steps to Transform Teacher Collaboration for Increased Student Learning April 21, 2014 Deanna Rolffs, Mary Kay Murphy
  2. 2. Introductions Who is in the room? Why this session?
  3. 3. Please share who you are and how this video connects with why you chose this session?
  4. 4. Why We Exist The achievement gap persists. Results from a wide variety of state and national tests administered over the last half-century have been fairly consistent in at least one respect. They indicated that certain groups of children repeatedly score below children in other groups (EdSource).
  5. 5. How Partners Works Partners in School Innovation engages with teachers and leaders in under-performing school districts to drive results by strengthening teaching and learning through our sustainable, adaptable approach to continuous improvement.
  6. 6. Session Objectives • Understand the WHY, HOW and WHAT behind teacher collaboration • Be prepared for common challenges that arise when working to establish collaborative teams • Understand the role that school leaders and teachers each play in creating successful collaborative teams
  7. 7. Vision for Teacher Collaboration
  8. 8. Why collaborate? “Research on effective professional development also highlights the importance of collaborative and collegial learning environments that help develop communities of practice able to promote school change beyond individual classrooms” -Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009
  9. 9. Teacher Professional Learning 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Theory Demonstration Practice and Feedback Peer Coaching or Collegial Support Knowledge Skill Transfer to Classroom Joyce and Showers, 2002
  10. 10. How can teachers collaborate? Plan Act Assess Reflect & Adjust Set Goals Results- Oriented Cycles of Inquiry
  11. 11. Results-Oriented Cycles of Inquiry Plan Act Assess Reflect & Adjust Set Goals Working together as a team to define clear outcomes for student mastery. Collaboratively designing assessments and planning units and lessons. Teaching with similar pacing; sharing lessons learned along the way. Collecting evidence of student learning using common assessments. Comparing student progress toward goals and thinking together about how to adjust instruction to better meet student needs.
  12. 12. My Experience of Collaboration is Like… • Basketball • Golf • Cross Country • Quilting • Car Pooling
  13. 13. What gets in the way of quality collaboration?
  14. 14. Common challenges • Insufficient access to timely data on which to base instructional decisions; • Poor infrastructure (especially lack of scheduled time for teachers to meet, or inefficient use of the limited time available); • Lack of teacher buy-in for the process (perception that the decision to implement a PLC was imposed upon teachers by administrators); • Lack of teacher ownership of the process (perception that administrators dictate what teachers do during their collaborative time); and • A building culture in which teachers tend to compete rather than collaborate. Education World, 2013
  15. 15. Some solutions • Ensure adequate time and resources • Work with teacher leaders to clarify expectations • Provide professional development for facilitators • Engage in ROCI to improve the quality of your collaboration
  16. 16. Time and resources • Sufficient time – Build time into the school schedule – Repurpose staff meeting time – Set aside money for subs and release teachers – Create district-wide PLCs • Collaborative planning tools – Pacing guides, curriculum materials – Online planning tools
  17. 17. Clarify Expectations Leaders and teachers should work together to: • Clarify the purpose and vision for collaboration • Develop meeting agendas • Identify ways to monitor the quality of collaboration – Meeting notes – Data from common assessments – Grade level representatives reflections – Principal observations
  18. 18. Clarify Expectations…
  19. 19. Clarify Expectations…
  20. 20. Facilitators Need… • To be involved in creating the agenda • Training on team development and facilitation skills • Space to reflect with other facilitators on how well meetings went and to problem- solve challenges
  21. 21. ROCI Your Collaboration Plan Act Assess Reflect & Adjust Set Goals Define your vision and goals for collaboration. Plan meetings well in advance. Support teams with well- prepared facilitators. Monitor the quality of collaboration. Comparing student progress toward goals and thinking together about how to adjust instruction to better meet student needs.
  22. 22. Reflect and Adjust • Review artifacts (meeting notes, data, lesson plans) and talk with facilitators about how the meetings went • Ask yourself: – Were the meeting outcomes achieved? – Do I see impact in the classroom? – How can the next meeting be even better?
  23. 23. Case examples… Ensuring Adequate Time and Resources: “We are adjusting our PLC plan for next year to allow for collaboration one hour a week per grade, using substitutes for release time.” Engaging in ROCI: “We have created systems and processes that support the ILT, PLCs and PD in order to implement the School Improvement Plan. For example, ILT members always come prepared with materials/work now because they know the time will be used wisely and very focused.” Preparing ILT Members as Facilitators: “Our Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) members decide direction, focus and specific paths to get there. They then lead PLCs, support and guide teachers, and share needs and strengths with the ILT.”
  24. 24. Looking Ahead • What is your goal between now and the end of the year? • What needs to take place to set your building up for success in the fall?
  25. 25. Looking Ahead
  26. 26. Reflect on the strengths and needs of your teams…
  27. 27. School Transformation Rubric Time for Collaboration Regular time for teacher collaboration is protected within the school schedule. Collaboration Agreements School-wide agreements exist that clarify expectations for how teams use collaborative time. Team Charter Teachers work together to define the purpose and work they will do in collaboration and establish working agreements. Student Achievement Goals Teachers collectively define SMART and equitable goals for student achievement. Backward Planning Teachers collectively develop units that specify the standards and skills they will teach in each unit in order to reach student achievement goals. ROCI Teacher collaboration is guided by Results-Oriented Cycles of Inquiry (i.e., setting and monitoring progress toward goals, planning instruction, reviewing data, reflecting on classroom practice, and adjusting instructional plans). Examination of Race, Culture, Class & Power Teachers seek to understand the role of race, culture, class and power in their work (e.g. reflecting on race based patterns of achievement, taking student's cultural background into account while planning instruction, reflecting on their beliefs and expectations for students). Collective Responsibility Teachers take collective responsibility for reaching student achievement goals by sharing best practices, pooling resources, supporting each other's professional growth and holding each other accountable to agreements. Peer Coaching Teachers support one another to continuously refine their practice (e.g. sharing best practices, engaging in lesson study, observing one another in the classroom).
  28. 28. Individual Reflection 1. Use the rubric to reflect on how well the teams you work are collaborating 2. What challenges are they experiencing? 3. What actions might you take to help them work though those challenges and deepen their collaboration?
  29. 29. What are you taking away? An idea that resonated for you An idea that resonated for you A next step you plan to take A next step you plan to take
  30. 30. Thank you for sharing your feedback with us!
  31. 31. Contact Renewing the Promise of Public Education Deanna Rolffs Mary Kay Murphy