chapter  1
17 Pages

The Importance of Professional Collaboration

ByAmanda Datnow, Vicki Park

“Are we done yet?” This is a common refrain from teachers who feel forced into teacher team meetings that feel artificial or in which precious time is wasted. When we think about collaboration in the workplace, many of us can draw upon negative instances of when it didn’t work. Anecdotes of collaboration time being used to tell “war stories,” unstructured time without a clear purpose or agenda, and personality conflicts overtaking shared learning are all too familiar. If we have been fortunate enough, we can also recall deep and enriching joint work that led to purposeful growth and learning. Instead of minutes crawling by, time flies with engrossing discussions and collaborative practice, both of which have relevance to instructional decision-making and student learning.