Since implementing D3 (“Distributive, Dedicated, Dynamic”), the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indiana has experienced many benefits from teacher collaboration.
For example, special education faculty members now co-teach in general education classrooms and work with students who require additional support.
Other teacher collaboration benefits include providing equity for the district’s large English language learner population.
“You’ll see a co-teaching relationship in which one teacher speaks Spanish to bridge the language gap for some of our students,” says Chief Academic Officer Troy Knoderer.
Main story: Collaborative teaching strategies: 2 districts pursue teacher collaboration
Teacher leaders in the district also invite new educators into the classroom to observe more experienced educators. “It really depends on what the needs of the classroom are,” says Knoderer.
These leaders also receive higher wages. The district accomplished this by redirecting funds from an ineffective intervention program. This has increased teacher retention, but if a position becomes vacant, more people apply.
Also, principals can now provide better guidance. They work with just six teacher leaders, whereas they previously oversaw up to 40 educators. “By working through a leadership team, principals can use their time much more effectively and provide instructional support more often,” says Knoderer. “Principals have adopted a ‘leader of leaders’ mentality as opposed to a ‘leader of everyone’ approach.”