Time is the one resource almost every teacher is short of. I’ve heard (and said myself) “I wish we had more time to be able to plan collaboratively”.
The benefits of collaboratively planning and teaching are plentiful:
– it saves time as you can share the load
– it opens up new possibilities as each person brings with them unique ideas, resources, links etc
– it leads to more consistent teaching across a whole year level/subject area as all students can be exposed to similar materials
– it supports teachers who need support, and provides leadership opportunities for others
But there are also benefits to ongoing, “living” collaborative planning:
– it allows for current themes, news events or latest culture to included
– planning a week or a few weeks in advance is manageable and can be done in small time chunks
– in complex secondary sites (or even across school sites and sectors) teachers don’t necessarily have to meet face to face to still be able to collaborate
I really like using the google docs for collaborative, living planning documents.
I like to meet my team for 10-15 minutes before the start of a school day once a week to debrief on the previous week, set the theme for the next week, and brainstorm ways of presenting this in class. Teachers can all edit the planning document and add videos, resources, assessment tasks etc. Rather than a series of lesson plans, the document looks like a list of options you can pick from that suit your own teaching style and student cohort.
Feel free to use our STEMable Project template for term-based collaborative planning. Click here to access.
And see an example of what a planning document could look like while in use. Click here to access.