Team Teaching and What It Means: The Power Of Being Connected

It took me awhile to go back and reflect (Part 2) on my team teaching throughout my career. I think a post from @gcouros Twitter Equals Growth mindset was the impetus for continuing along this vein. In his post George explores Twitter, connectedness and the confluence of Dweck’s theory of #growthmindset vs #fixedmindset. In this TedTalk Dweck discusses her research .
There are many different configurations of teams in my school setting. We have grade level teams, class teams, preschool teams, lower/upper elementary division teams, and teams for various school life activities. Moving in and out of teams in various roles and capacities can be harrowing. Flexibility is key. And I had my ah ha moment! I have read and reread many chapters of Carol Dweck’s Mindset The New Psychology of Success. And with George’s post in mind, I decided to look at my team teaching experiences through the lens of a mindset. I think one definitely needs to have a growth mindset when working in a team; whether teaching, research or on the assembly line. If we don’t make room for everyone at the table; our expertise, experience, interest, curiosity and passions, how do we have change and creativity. When we talk about inclusion, can it not also imply to “teaming?” When we sit with our teams listening might be the first road to a growth mindset .

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How quickly we want to reply, to say how about this, maybe this will be better; OR no, we’ve always down it this way. How we shut down the conversation. How we don’t include everyone’s voice. That pedestal is a shaky place. We can all be learners. We can all be experts. Teaming can be like walking a tightrope. The balancing act, once again, a mantle the teacher wears. I go back to George’s post and think of the connected teacher on Twitter, a place where I find that a growth mindset flourishes. Is this the only place I can find this mindset? Absolutely not. But for me and for right now it’s where I find colleagues who stretch my thinking, who make room for my ideas, who share my passions. Who allow me to reflect without judgement. I have been so fortunate in my teaching career. Most of my team teaching experiences have definitely been rewarding. This teaching framework is one in which I thrive. My professional and personal growth is credited to the incredible educators who have touched my life.
What do you look for in a team teaching model? Do you work with a co-teacher in your classroom? Do you see a growth mindset as a positive influence on team teaching?
I think of my kinders and their understanding of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Big Words and the power of teaming to make a change.

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