Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Working as a Team

In a few short weeks, I will begin my second semester as a full time online Art Teacher. My class is only a semester long, so I am excited to teach the same lessons again with the changes I have made through reflecting and analyzing the results of the first semester. There are three teachers including myself who teach Art 1 at my school. Aside from speaking with each other on a weekly basis, our curriculums are linked together in what we call a “gold course”. I was reminded of how our gold course is a unique feature of an online school. It is a classroom that all three of us can enter and make changes that affect all Art 1 classes. These changes include the lesson content pages, quizzes, and projects. Having a central hub like this allows more than just my reflections to improve my students’ achievement. It opens the door to my colleagues’ reflections, changes, and wisdom as well. We are able to divide tasks and work closely as a team to better our curriculum. In many brick and mortar schools I have observed, the curriculum between the same courses taught by different teachers is often not uniform. I believe this is usually because it is difficult for teachers to find time to compare and evaluate curriculum before the end of the year. Communicating with my colleagues and collaborating on new lessons and projects has never been so flawless as it has been this year via email, live meetings, phone calls, and working on the gold course. We are also currently working together to create our two presentations for the National Art Education Association Conference in New York City this spring. We are each able to work on a shared Powerpoint presentation through the technology provided to us that makes it easy for us to collaborate on this effort too. Though I only see my teammates a handful of times a year, I never feel as though I am working alone.

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