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Collaboration, IEPs and diversity

How can teachers, support staff, and administration make time for the planning needed to have effective collaboration at a school?
Discuss some ways that you can make sure all IEP team members are committed to the team process and are accountable.
Discuss your personal experiences and beliefs as a student in a classroom with diverse learners.
How was diversity addressed when you were in school?

1,780 words

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To approach responding to these assignment reflection questions, first consider your audience: who will be reading your response, or who will you be "talking" to with your answers? Secondly, what was the purpose of assigning you these questions to answer? What was the teacher of your class hoping your answer would show that you had learned? With these points in mind, you can more carefully shape your answers to fit your teacher's intended purpose, and improve your score as a result.

How can teachers, support staff, and administration make time for the planning needed to have effective collaboration at a school? This question wants you to explore ideas for getting busy teachers together (hopefully during working hours) so that they can devote the time needed face-to-face to effectively collaborate class to class and subject to subject. Collaborating class to class refers to teachers who all teach 9th grade English, for instance, getting together to discuss where in their common curriculum students are struggling, so they can devote their collective ideas towards strategies to effectively address those "hard parts." It also allows them to check that they are keeping mostly together in time and in content, so that students in MY English class are getting equivalent instruction compared to the students in YOUR English class. It allows teachers to share materials, lesson plans and ideas with each other to bring up the quality of instruction for everyone who teaches that class, and for all the students who are taking that class. Collaborating subject to subject allows curriculum to cross content barriers, and allows students to relate what happens in my ART class to what is happening in my SOCIAL STUDIES class, for instance. I did a collaborative project with a social studies teacher once that addressed his current events unit with Art - we did political cartooning in his class, and some student's work was insightful enough to be entered into a national art contest for culturally aware, politically and socially outspoken artworks. Students were then able to relate what they learned in history class to a career that uses historical events in an artistic way to earn a living as an artist. Collaboration of this sort can take place between any two such different class subjects, depending upon what is happening in each class, and the willingness of the two teachers and two classes to work together. I have collaborated with teachers in other SCHOOLS - when their students wrote stories or poetry, and my students bound their work into a hand-made book to create an enduring keepsake that beautifully preserved their classwork in an artistic way. They learned to write stories or poetry, we learned to make hand-made books.
Now - all of that introduces the question - how do teachers make the time during their busy ...

Solution Summary

Three questions addressed: Collaboration among teachers, IEP conferences and how diversity was addressed in your school.