It started with one idea on how to help support our National Board Certified Teachers. Four years later, we have at least seven ways we’re building teacher leadership in our district with the support of Teaching Channel and Teams. Click below to hear all about how we’re redefining professional learning via video and helping make #anewkindofPD.
If we had a nickel for every time we heard the word “No” in our collective 33 years of teaching, we could fund every teacher’s request on GoFundMe.com.
And any teacher who is an active voice, a change agent, or a teacher leader knows that “No” is often the first response whenever you try to float a new idea past district administration.
We have learned through trial and error that reacting negatively to No — whether it be feeling angry or a sense of failure in an unconvincing argument — got us nowhere. We decided, about three years ago, to see the word No as an entry point in a conversation. It no longer causes us to feel contempt, but instead encourages us to feel curious. As change agents, we are sadly accustomed to receiving negative responses to our attempts at education change, but now we view the challenge of No as an opportunity for growth; for us, our students, and our administrators.
Who We Are and What We Do
We are National Board Certified Teachers who have been collaborative partners for almost a decade at Oceanside High School in New York. Our collaboration works because we’re working together towards a common goal: helping our students reach their fullest potential. We teach two integrated sections of ninth grade Honors English and Social Studies, where our students move as a cohort between our classes, giving them an experience that illustrates how English and Social Studies are related by providing them with the opportunity to read text deeply, and link themes occurring across both classrooms. In addition, we team teach a Conference class where students delve deeper into the humanities, exploring concepts that link us all in the human experience.
Every year we have the opportunity to teach grades other than the ninth grade integrated program, and we choose to stay together. We love working together to mold new entrants into high school, teaching them the skills they’ll need for high school, college, and career success, while we encourage each other to be the best teachers we can be.
The following seven tips come from our decade of experience working together as collaborative partners.