Great article from Rick DuFour about the teaching profession. Here is an except from the article:
What key conditions need to be in place for teacher collaboration to help teachers improve achievement—and their working lives?
The two overarching conditions are, first, absolute clarity about what we’re collaborating on—what is the nature of the work, what is the right work—and, second, supports so people can succeed at what they’re being asked to do. If we fulfill those two things, collaboration will have a much greater impact. If we just put teachers together in a room and tell them to collaborate, there’s no evidence that that’s going to improve student achievement at all.
Teams have to agree on how they will gather evidence of learning day by day in their teaching and get stronger at an almost minute-by-minute check for understanding. Their assessment process also has to include—and this is a cornerstone of the professional learning community process—common formative assessments developed by the team itself. They have to use those assessments to identify which kids are still struggling, what they’ll do to bring those kids to proficiency, and how they’ll enrich learning for kids who are highly proficient. They have to ask which teacher got really good results in teaching this skill and what can be learned from that person, or which teacher struggled to teach this skill and how can we support that person?