By Ivy Waite
Walking around CSS today was much like the other days that I have been fortunate enough to spend at this school. As a teacher new to both the profession and the school, I seem to see things through a different lens… Teaching partners working together during their regular, scheduled planning periods; teachers team teaching in the library with 50 students; a lesson study involving teachers from multiple schools; this is incredible stuff! The real power in these events is the impact that they have on student learning. In all instances of collaboration at CSS it is evident that authentic student engagement and success are the main focus.
When I was told that I would have time to work with my teaching partner Jaime Groeller almost daily to plan collaboratively, I wondered how we would possibly make this work. What if we had different pedagogies? What if we didn’t get along? What if??? Soon enough though, my worries were extinguished when I saw that she put as many exclamation points in her email to me as I did in mine to her. I was very excited by this first glimpse into our partnership.
This glimpse of our massive, eleven page year plan is illustrative of what happens when two brains combine their resources. Compared to past plans, this year’s is incredibly detailed and expansive in it’s scope and sequence. Naturally, it is a GoogleDoc that we both add to and change when inspiration or motivation sets in. What would have normally taken me endless hours and limitless stress was created casually over a period of weeks (that soon turned into months) by the two of us. I can confidently say that I can sleep easier at night knowing that we have the next seven months mapped out. There is no doubt about the direction that we are headed in, or what we have chosen to do with the seeds of collaboration that were presented to us.