Staff Collaboration Time
Rationale and Guiding Principles:
Educators at Cambie Secondary are passionate about supporting students to be successful, a process that requires more than good intentions on the part of educators. It requires a thoughtful, deliberate and multi-faceted approach. Student success is complex and one of the recognized pillars for supporting student success are the conversations that educators have with each other about their own learning and student learning. The Cambie Staff have always found opportunities to work together and collaborate in different ways as evidenced by the number of activities staff are engaged in (study group on student engagement, assessment, descriptive feedback, Pathways Program, Positive Behaviour Support and Departmental meetings for example).
The students at Cambie Secondary are diverse in terms of cultural background and educational need. As a staff, we are committed to working together to support all students in order to meet the curricular demands and provide students with the richest educational experience possible. To achieve these goals, educators need time to have pragmatic conversations with one another.
Organizational Impact & Summary of Monthly Staff Collaboration Time Discussions
Throughout the course of this school year, Cambie Secondary has eight collaboration blocks. On these dates, classes are shortened to 60 minutes per period. The Collaboration block is 75 minutes, during which time all teachers, educational assistants, and administrators meet in diverse small groups. During collaboration time, students have access to be in school for quiet self-directed work in the Rotunda.
Perceived Impact on Staff Initiatives
Collaboration has provided time to:
- Share expertise and reflect on best teaching practices (assessment was a large focus last year)
- Focus on areas of needs and concern in the classroom and school community
- Discuss and plan around various areas of educational pedagogy
- Enhance staff relations through communication and sharing of ideas
- Continue what is offered in Professional Development (to avoid Pro-D being a one- time activity).
- Promote teamwork within departments and across different departments.
- Enhance our school wide Positive Behavior Support System (3R’s – Respect, Responsible, Ready to Succeed)
- Develop a shared vision for our Pathways Incentive Program during its three-year implementation process.
It is a focused time for staff to continue working on large projects, but most importantly it provides a starting point for staff to explore an idea that leads to conversations beyond the confined times of collaboration to develop meaningful learning opportunities for our students. Many conversations that originated from collaboration time have continued during lunch hour meetings, after school meetings, or during professional development days.