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How Teachers & Administrators Work Together

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  • 0:03 Important…
  • 0:49 Developing Curricula
  • 1:34 Determining Standards
  • 2:28 Establishing Parent Engagement
  • 3:12 Reasons to Collaborate
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teachers have many important relationships, including ones with school administrators. This lesson discusses this important association and identifies ways teachers and administrators can work together to improve student learning.

Important Relationships in Education

Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Brea knew she would form important relationships with students, parents, and other teachers. She also knew her administration, or the people in charge of running her school and district, such as superintendents, principals, and vice principals, were significant to her success. What she didn't have her eye on, though, was just how essential her relationship with administrators would be.

Why is this? The administrators in Ms. Brea's building recognize the importance of collaboration, or working together with teachers to instigate policy and change. They bring teachers in on many important decisions and ask for help in developing curriculum, determining standards, and engaging parents. What does this look like? Let's take a peek.

Developing Curricula

Ms. Brea is on the curriculum development committee. It's a group of teachers and administrators who come together to determine important aspects of the school's curriculum, or the material being taught. This year the committee is looking at how to integrate units of study. Ms. Brea teaches math and would love to include the work students are doing in other content areas, like science, social studies, and language arts, to bring all learning together.

The curriculum development committee met several times over the summer to write units of study. Members will now unpack these units during a day-long meeting with staff at the beginning of the year and continue to scaffold the new units as the school year goes on. Teachers and administration work together in every aspect of this process.

Determining Standards

The curriculum development committee isn't the only way teachers and administrators work together on aspects concerning student learning. Both district-wide and school administrators bring teachers together to determine overarching standards, or goals and objectives set for student learning. In Ms. Brea's case, she was one of several key teachers chosen from each grade level and subject area to come together and write new learning standards.

They had several meetings to work on this topic. Teachers were divided into grade and subject-level groups. They then looked at the current standards and discussed what aspects worked and which didn't. They researched, looking for information to support keeping old standards or implementing new ones. They had conversations with teachers from other schools, who were able to give them data from their own experiences. From there, the teams were able to identify new standards for each strand.

Establishing Parent Engagement

Another area where Ms. Brea's administrative team brings in teachers for collaboration is parent engagement, or the partnership teachers and administrators have with parents. This team brainstorms ways to develop trusting relationships with parents. They plan meetings and events to bring parents on campus and invite their opinions and thoughts. They also have a home visit program to help build relationships.

The parent engagement team operates in the same way administrators and teachers worked together on the other committees - collaboratively. Administrators and teachers work together toward a common goal - in this case, parent engagement. Their role in this relationship is not one of boss and employees but more of team members.

Reasons to Collaborate

The administrators could have made decisions without teachers. However, they know that giving teachers a voice matters for several reasons:

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