E2 – Exemplify collaboration within the school. According to my understanding of the E2 standard, teacher-candidates need to work with others in order to help students succeed. When teacher-candidates agree to become a part of a school district they agree to become a member of a team of teachers, faculty members, parents, and volunteers who are all dedicated to students’ success. Becoming a member of the team requires teacher-candidates to invest extra time in order to meet and communicate with other team members to discuss each student’s progress and strategies for improving progress. Teamwork is vital for teacher-candidates because it allows them to ask for help and seek advice rather than isolating them.
These links (My notes on the US history meeting and Mentor Teacher’s notes from US history meeting) show meeting notes written by my mentor teacher and I at a US history department meeting on Thursday, January 24, 2013. At the meeting, all of the US history teachers in the school came together to create a plan for the second semester. Our main focus was the 1920s and 1930s unit, which will begin next week. We also adjusted the unit calendar, so it more accurately reflected the dates for the rest of the year’s units. These notes demonstrate my emerging competency of standard E2 because they illustrate how I worked with other US history teachers to develop a master calendar of the units we will teach second semester. They also show how we worked together to develop the projects of each unit. For example, in the 1920s and 1930s unit, one teacher shared a previous project she had done in which students researched a particular topic of the 1920s and created a presentation to share the information with the class. This teacher explained that the presentation could take any of the following formats: a silent movie, a PowerPoint presentation, or a fashion show. I suggested some students might also like to write and sing a song for the class about their topic in a 1920s style, such as swing. This clearly demonstrates how other teachers and I collaborated to create a single project for all of our classes.
As a result of this experience, I learned what it was like to work with a group of US history teachers to develop a curriculum. I also learned that it is important to collaborate because you get others’ perspectives and ideas and can use the best. When teachers collaborate like this, the result is a better curriculum and learning experience for students because the best ideas of several people are utilized instead of the opinions of just one. In the future, it would be beneficial to meet again, so we can develop the future units more fully like we did with the 1920s and 1930s unit.