Week 2 – 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge

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This post is week 2 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators. It’s not too late to join us! Click to check out the challenge.

Collaboration has become easier this year than in previous years. For one thing, at our school teachers used to be in our own classrooms. We sometimes could be there all day with children coming and going, but very little time to see or collaborate with peers. This year, the pandemic required a different arrangement for the classrooms. The children were divided into small groups of 8-10 and each had their own space. The students stayed in their classroom all day; the teachers would move into the rooms when it was their turn to teach them.

For the teachers, since we didn’t have our own room, each department was assigned a room. After five years of being in our own rooms and traveling up or down stairs and through the hallways to be able to talk to each other, this was a delightful new development. It wasĀ  a breeze to get consensus on something or to teach each other new little technology insights we figured out in our Google Classroom and Zoom programs, which were new for us this year. That set-up really improved collaboration for us.

In addition, having meetings became so easy from home or school, with Zoom. It didn’t matter where people were working. It was simple to attend or call a meeting. I noticed people tended to be more on time and there are fewer disruptions in Zoom meetings.

Of course, I miss the maskless laughter, dates, chocolates and Arabic coffee from in person meetings!

6 thoughts on “Week 2 – 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge

  1. Hello Denise – I agree that collaboration became easier during Covid. It was like the design matters in schools! (That is a bit of tongue in cheek sarcasm.). Seriously, though as we move forward, I wonder can we sustain this engagement of staff while also bringing back the chocolate and great coffee? I want the best of pre-Covid and Covid year to continue. I am hopeful and may I say a bit strategic in wanting these collaboration opportunities to be sustained as “none of us is as smart as all of us.” Have your staff consider how to keep this collaborative momentum continuing?
    Karen šŸ™‚

    1. Wow, Karen, I’m encouraged that you are hopeful and being strategic in keeping the best of both eras. Yes, I don’t know if things will ever go back to what they were before, just because of the convenience of online Zoom meetings. We had really bad traffic here before Covid, so I’m sure we will all appreciate not having to drive everywhere! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I think this is getting better when you have to collaborate with other people. I mean, we had to go extra early to school (or to work) or stay later for a meeting. Now everything is done from the comfort of our own home.

  3. I love that so many of our colleagues are saying, “the more communication the better!” I am hopeful that all educators had that same experience and we can build up the same goal of fostering constructive communication.

    One thing I did notice in the first semester of the 20-21 school year was that I had to directly/indirectly teach some peers etiquette for online, professional collaboration platforms. In particular, I am thinking of Microsoft Teams which I used with my district’s ~400 virtual teachers. There were many faux pas, but all in a good spirit, that were mostly corrected. The one that had me giggling daily was someone would inadvertently enter their UN/PW in the Teams chat for their building; I would message them how to delete it, but Microsoft never really advertised to me that Teams was a password collector! Haha. šŸ¤·ā€ā™€ļø

    Here is an etiquette resource for Teams which I recommend: https://www.avepoint.com/ebook/microsoft-teams-best-practices

    1. Penny, that is funny about Teams being a password collector! Yikes. I’ve not really used that platform before. There was a steep learning curve for teachers this year. For us it was Zoom, but we made it with so much experience for the future. Thanks!

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