May 16, 2015See All Newsletters
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May 16, 2015
This Week: Teaching Math As A Shared Experience
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In partnership with Illustrative Math and Smarter Balanced, we’re excited to give you new videos that highlight the importance of teachers working together to develop, implement, and reflect on powerful math tasks for young people. [Ten new videos]
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After watching a colleague’s lesson via Teaching Channel Teams, Alicia Farmer makes refinements and leads her class in the same lesson, with great results.
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Discover the secrets to a productive collaboration between two English and social studies teachers.
Sarah's Notes

It took me becoming a single mom of three young children to finally give myself permission to ask for help. A car pool here, a willing neighbor there, and family who live close enough to be there in a pinch. Regardless of how grateful I am or how often others admonish me when I apologize for asking in the first place, I still struggle in the belief that I should be able to do everything myself. Then, I have to remember a few truths: 1) It’s impossible to be in two places at once; 2) asking for help doesn’t make me a bad mom and; 3) I will, someday, be able to either reciprocate the graciousness or pay it forward to someone else in need.

I share this because I know the way I feel on crazy Saturdays is the way so many teachers feel when the opportunity to learn from teacher leaders or instructional coaches emerges. We too often carry this sense that asking for help is admitting vulnerability, even failure. However, what is true for me as a parent is true for us as educators. We can’t be in the same place at the same time. Which is exactly why we need a trusted colleague to provide another set of eyes in our classrooms to see what we can’t. (Just like in this video series that launched this week!)

Moreover, asking for help doesn’t make us bad teachers. It means we’re human teachers. The kind who understand our bad days or lessons gone awry don’t have to be bruises to our egos if we see them as bridges to our better teaching selves. Finally, once we ask for help, we’re entering a community of learners who will undoubtedly need your eyes, your insight, your just-right question at the just-right time to help another teacher see what she can’t on her own.

So, the next time you have that knee-jerk reaction to “just do it all yourself,” remember asking for help isn’t your sign of weakness; rather, it’s your most skillful strength.

Sarah Sarah Sig
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
Tchers’ Voice
Img LeftOne size does not fit all when it comes to teaching and learning. Find out how you can differentiate your instruction to benefit all students.

Img LeftRyan McCarty explains that novels not only fit within the Common Core framework, they can anchor critical skills development.

Q&A: Answer These Questions
Q: What are your best end of year wrap-up activities and traditions?
Q: Any suggestions for implementing true team teaching effectively?
Q: What is a good note-taking strategy?
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