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Values Statement for Team-Teaching

This We Believe: 1) Effective team teaching requires both teachers to work as a team, not simply rotating or alternating air time and responsibilities, but really being present together, sharing planning, instruction, and interacting and modeling constructive communication and collegial relationships in the classroom. 2) Interdisciplinary instruction requires both teachers to own both subjects and to be engaged in interdisciplinary creativity, not merely alternating subjects or presenting material side-by-side. 3) Team teaching in a team-based PBL environment requires focused attention on the behavior of the groups. Team teaching facilitates the frequent circulation of one or both teaching partners. If one teacher is providing a mini lecture it requires the other teacher to closely observe group behavior. 4) While using the state standards to focus curriculum is important, PBL results in covering fewer standards in greater depth (and this is a good thing!). The teaching partners must make tough curriculum choices in a collaborative, negotiated way. 5) Classroom rules should be kept to a minimum. Traditional discipline strategies may undermine the development of a professional, self-directed student culture. Classroom management focuses on modeling a consistent standard for on-task, learning-oriented behavior, with zero acceptance of anything that impedes a positive learning environment. Team teachers must develop trust that each teacher has the other’s support in the moment, but with the understanding that classroom management issues are a continual topic for reflection and criticism/self-criticism. Interesting work remains the most effective form of class management. 6) The digital work tools and, more broadly, the 21st century skills, are essential to our model and both partners agree to learn and use those tools and carry their share of the digital workload (posting agendas, inputting grades, populating briefcases). 8) The total workload should be balanced regardless of subject matter. 9) Commitment of dedicated time to planning and coordination is essential. For all the advantages of team teaching it is undeniable that it requires more time. Honesty about time commitments is essential. 10) It is hard not to take conflicts that arise during team teaching personally. The key to diffusing personal tensions is to focus on the goal of creating a great classroom. If both partners can view differences through the lens of what it takes to create an excellent learning experience for the students then

it becomes less about us and more about what needs to be done.

In mutual agreement:

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