02

Defining values, roles and responsibilities

Integrating two classes into one requires organizing your work: defining values, setting goals, and having a clear picture of both teachers’ role and responsibilities.

These can be naturally built on the first discussion, which will help you to take both teachers’ strengths and skillsets into consideration.

Values and rules of conduct

Talk and agree about the values and rules you want to have in your classroom while you collaborate. Document them on a shared web-based document, so that you can return to them if the need rises and when your collaboration moves forward.

The defined values will help you prioritize things and will serve as your reasoning for everything that you do. If, for example, you value creating a good group dynamic within your classroom, you should of course choose methods that support that goal.

Rules of conduct can include:

Roles and responsibilities

Defining roles and responsibilities focuses on managing the instruction. Will you act as equals during lessons, or will the other one take charge while the other one helps with differentiation and observes the class? Will you create lesson plans together from scratch or will you assign areas of responsibility?

Work in a way that is natural for each content area and makes use of your skillsets and strengths. Remember that now you have your colleague to support you, you should challenge yourself with things that are out of your comfort zone. Trying out new things is easier with a partner.

Communication

Even if you are busy, remember to make time for conversation. Constant communication will remove the need for guesswork and will prevent misunderstandings. If it feels natural, have a weekly meeting. It might also be enough for you to keep talking about things and reflecting on your actions during other work.

A web tool is often helpful for communication. You can collect lesson and assessment plans, timetables, group divisions, and other things on the web and easily check it both at work and at home. For example Office 365 and the G Suite are tools that make it easy to collaborate.