week with same-grade teachers across
content areas. During these periods,
teachers study student learning and use
what they learn to guide their instructional planning.
If teachers have few opportunities to
observe one another’s teaching, they
might videotape their teaching to watch
and discuss together. Asking another
teacher to cover a class so a new
teacher can observe a seasoned one and
coordinating team teaching are other
options that allow for mutual observations. Knowing that school leaders
value such collaborative practices may
be the incentive teachers need to take
the first step.
Community building can also occur
outside school hours—during summer
faculty picnics, meetings at coffee
shops, or potlucks. Such events can be
particularly meaningful to new faculty,
who may feel more comfortable asking
questions or collaborating with peers
whom they have come to know—and
outside the time constraints of the daily
Goddard, Y. L., Goddard, R. D., &
Tschannen-Moran, M. (2007). A
theoretical and empirical investigation
of teacher collaboration for school
improvement and student achievement
in public elementary schools. Teachers
College Record, 109( 4), 877–896.
Moolenaar, M. N., Sleegers, P. J. C., & Daly,
A. J. (2012). Teaming up: Linking collaboration networks, collective efficacy,
and student achievement. Teaching and
Teacher Education: An International Journal
of Research and Studies, 28( 2), 251–262.
Ingersoll, R. (2001). Teacher turnover and
teacher shortages: An organizational
analysis. American Educational Research
Journal, 38( 3), 499–534.
Ingersoll, R., (2002). The teacher shortage:
A case of wrong diagnosis and wrong prescription. NASSP Bulletin, 86, 631.
Ingersoll, R. (2003). Is there really a teacher
shortage? Philadelphia, PA: The Consortium for Policy Research in Education.
Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2008).
A review of research on the impact of
professional learning communities on
teaching practice and student learning.
Teaching and Teacher Education, 24( 1),
Deborah Bieler is assistant professor
of English at the University of Delaware;
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