Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Connected Rotorua - Cross-Curricular Collaboration

This Friday we are embarking on a massive collaborative approach in terms of creating a discussion around cross-curricular collaboration.

For those of you who already come to Connected Rotorua - this type of collaboration is old hat. For the new teachers and those we have been working on bringing to join our roopu - collaboration can sometimes be a scary thing.

The idea for Connected Rotorua this time around - to have a Twitter chat - run by me in where we copy our number one It Girl's Face2Face Twitter chat model from the #edchatnz conference.

I don't think I sold it very well at school - but I'm hoping a few people will come along.

My questions so far:

1) Name, school, reason for coming to Connected Rotorua this arvo.
2) What does collaboration look like?
3) How can we create collaboration throughout a school setting - often when we are in our own small areas?
4) What would cross-curricular collaboration look like?
5) How have you collaborated with someone or a different department / age group in the school?
6) How does cross curricular collaboration benefit our students?
7) What other ways could you see cross-curricular collaboration working throughout the school?
8) What do we need to do to ensure we are making constructive progress with collaborating with our colleagues in our schools, nationally and globally?
Final Question: How have you taken part in Connected Educator Month?

In the primary and intermediate school sectors - there is a tonne of cross-curricular collaboration - however the  same issues around sharing resources and being connected seem to permeate - as it does in the high school sector.

It's unfortunate that there are a tonne of kids falling through the system because the dramatic change in teaching style and schooling style changes as they grow up. Perhaps having a more inter-related and cross-curricular perspective when it comes to their studies and their new learning could help aide this growing issue.

For teachers - being collaborative should come second nature - however we are time poor. We don't have the time to create amazing resources or be up to date with best practice all the time. But what we do need to invest time in - is collaborating with others to enable closer connections, positive sharing and giving and taking, building trust and friendship, hopefully further ensuring a wider knowledge base from which to teach our students.

For students - collaboration is what they do best. They love working in groups. They share and feel comfortable pushing out their ideas with those closest to them.

Why do we as adults move away from that? We become scared of being told our ideas are stupid or that they would take too much effort. We feel as if there just isn't enough time, yet try and invent the wheel again anyway. Those of us more seasoned teachers feel that we know a substantial amount of knowledge already and know that what works for us - is already working.

The problem is - our world is changing dramatically - and we need to create learners who love learning, who strive to solve problems, who work in teams to pursue an issue and challenge each other to find the best possible outcome in a difficult situation. We need learners who will not be scared of creating change and learners that will fight for their ideas to succeed because they have overwhelming growth mindsets and believe anything is possible if they just keep trying.

It may sound silly - but I think collaboration is the way to do it. Cross-curricularly as well. Let's break down those silos, those walls to our classrooms. Let's make use of the tuakana/teina relationships we have in our classroom, school, staffroom. Let's share the power - give and take ideas and all be listened to.

Want to come to Connected Rotorua now? This Friday night from 4.30 at Western Heights High School. Nibbles and drinks provided :) Just bring your thoughts and enthusiasm :)