Teaching Tuesday: How Does the Learning Surplus Influence Professional Collaboration for Teachers?

By Tracy Vasquez and Marjaneh Gilpatrick, faculty

teacher and students learning virtually in classroom

You can strategize with colleagues to improve teaching and learning outcomes in our new normal. Learn how you can use an asset-based approach to learning in your professional collaboration with your colleagues. 

Building Local and Global Learning Communities

In this new normal, teachers are leading interest in other communities and modeling curiosity about different regions and cultures. One way they facilitate this interest is through Skype in education or Google Classroom. Some teachers use the pen-pal strategy by pairing classrooms with other classrooms across the state, country or globe. Students learn about their counterparts by researching their pen-pals’ community, resources and projects of interest.

Planning for Problem-Based Learning

When approaching teaching and learning from an asset-based perspective, you can plan with other teachers to strategize individualizing instruction. For example, after analyzing some benchmark data, you and your peer teachers may notice some students exhibit interest in aquaponic gardening. You can guide them in reteaching skills while also allowing them to problem solve in creating a project for their community.

Teacher Collaboration With Community Members

As a teacher, you can find colleagues in various community roles. For example, as an ESL teacher, you may find a local university faculty member coordinate visits with local businesses. These collaborative discussions between classrooms and community leaders can create authentic, meaningful learning experiences to immerse your students in expository or functional text. By looking at the assets of the community and coming up with a project to benefit the businesses, it may also prove to be beneficial for the students and classrooms.

Virtual Collaboration

Telepresence is a fairly new technology tool that provides teachers and school leaders with a window into the classroom to observe, notice and reflect upon the instruction being presented. Devices such as the Meeting Owl Pro video conferencing can assist teachers in easily recording instruction for later personal viewing or viewing with colleagues to foster a discussion on best practices.

Ultimately, as an educator, your aim is to nurture and promote students’ cognitive and emotional growth and development. Relying on an asset-based approach or growth mindset helps us as teachers to focus on ways to expand the learning that has occurred over the past year.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.