Increasing Collaboration in Your School

Nov 15, 2016 by

wafa-hozien-ph-dWafa Hozien, Ph.D.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success,” Henry Ford. There are three core concepts that develop a collaborative culture within a school faculty.

Core Concepts:

The foundation of developing and working within a partnership or team filters down to a primal need of relationships and our instinctual human desire to feel connected. Growing healthy relationships that rely on trust and respect are the very first steps necessary to begin building a truly collaborative environment that result in best solutions stemming from the joint efforts of those involved. See this article that is dedicated to the development of trusting relationships as a key component of the school improvement process.

There must be a commitment to providing useful resources that are a necessity in developing collaboration among staff. In an educational setting, one of our most prized possessions is time. Time is a resource that must be considered a priority when working towards a goal of true collaboration. The allocation of time to develop relationships and protocols that create an alliance among teachers should be considered a non-negotiable. The time dedicated to collaboration should be viewed as a necessary tool that cannot be altered, dwindled or forgotten. State Superintendent, Steve Paine, describes how he has done this successfully in West Virginia here in this article.

A setting in which trusting relationships are fulfilled and educators have the time necessary for collaborative conversations will inevitably fall short in the absence of a structured protocol intentionally designed around the efforts of cohesiveness. This system must be identified and strict adherence to the group norms must occur. Aligning all conversations and interactions with established group norms is the third leg to uphold the steady stool in which intentional and deep levels of collaboration can exist. See this article on the Norms of Collaborative Work that outlines specific norms to support productive teamwork.

For Teaching and Learning:

Student achievement is ultimate goal of teaching. Educators strive each year, each day, each hour, and each lesson to strategically provide the very best instructional practices that tap into the maximum potential of every student. In a collaborative school setting, ultimately students benefit as teachers, aides, librarians and all school personnel weave their knowledge, professional dreams and craft together to form a strong basket of support for student learning. There is merit in the cliché that together is better and alone we can do so little; while together we can do so much. Whether faculty is developing a school improvement plan, analyzing assessment data, or aligning curriculum standards; only the intentional practice of fostering trusting relationships with a commitment to providing sufficient time while relying on a system of established norms will then true teamwork prevail in a manner that our students will become the victors.

How does your staff currently collaborate? Please share with us in the comments.

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  1. November 2016 Publications – Wafa Hozien - […] Hozien, W. (November 14, 2016). Increasing Collaboration in Your School. Education News. Retrieved from: http://www.educationviews.org/increasing-collaboration-school/ […]
  2. November Publications – Wafa Hozien - […] Hozien, W. (November 14, 2016). Increasing Collaboration in Your School.Education News. Retrieved from: http://www.educationviews.org/increasing-collaboration-school/ […]

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