IPTS Standard 9 | Collaborative Relationships
The competent teacher understands the role of the community in education and develops and maintains collaborative relationships with colleagues, parents/guardians, and the community to support student learning and well-being.
- The first artifact is from GeoJam, a unique community event organized by the graduating seniors in the math cohort of secondary education at UIUC. Every year it is held in Central High School in Champaign after student teaching in May. The cohort invites predominantly geometry students from the high school as well as teachers, parents, and members from the community to participate in the event. During the event, there are various stations set up where teams of students work collaboratively to complete non-traditional mathematical challenges. As a group, we decided which stations should be a part of the main event, and which stations could work as solo jams where students can complete tasks individually. We also raised money for prizes, publicized the event, and organized registration and judging. On the night of GeoJam, we encouraged students to work in teams to support and rely on each other in order to complete difficult math challenges in an engaging and fun format.
- The second artifact was developed in CI 402M : Teaching Diverse Middle School Students. The assignment was to review a textbook with two other classmates and decide if we wanted to adopt this textbook for our school. We had a set of goals and objectives, as well as a context for our school. We collaborated to evaluate the academic rigor, developmental appropriateness, and equity aspect of the textbook. We then came together and came to a decision whether or not the textbook worked well with our school.
- The third artifact is from an internship I was a part of in the summer of 2009. The STEM internship required collaboration with math and science majors to develop engaging activities for elementary school students. Every week, we visited various schools in Chicago and played math games with the students. Every month, We set up science experiments so that students and their families could learn fun and informative science facts.
These three artifacts show collaboration with colleagues and consideration of the community in education. It is so important to get the community invested in education. Schools can reach out in many ways, whether it be throwing an event for the community or choosing a textbook and curriculum that fits the needs of students in the community. When choosing the textbook, we looked for how the book supports equity among students.
I have learned the importance of working with peers to reach a common goal. I think it is essential for teachers to be involved in their community and know what kind of backgrounds their students come from. It is important to realize that the school culture is a part of the community, and having classes that reject that culture is the same as rejecting the identities of the students. Reaching out to the community shows that the teacher cares and places the student at the center. Getting to know community members makes the teacher more available and able to develop relationships with members of the community. I plan to have more community centered initiatives that are grounded in the students lived experiences.