Friday, October 17, 2008

Do your SHARE!

Ever since you were little you have been encouraged to share. If you are a parent you are encouraging your children to share. As a teacher you want your students to share. So... are you sharing?

I have a mission for you: make a team and share your lessons. I know I've talked a little about this before, but this time I want to be a little more specific.

If you share your lessons, you'll have so much more time to do other things. First things first, you need someone to share with. I suggest getting a group together of teachers near you who teach the same grades/subjects as you. If you are in a large school, and there are three grade 7 classes, and you teach one of them, then work with the other two grade 7 teachers. If you are not in a large school look to the other schools in your board/area. Any teacher that works or lives within a reasonable drive from you and has to cover the same curriculum as you is a potential group member.

Also, try and think outside the box. In Ontario, there are public schools and Catholic schools. But they both have to cover the Ontario curriculum. It *should* be relatively easy for a Catholic teacher to take a 'generic' lesson and add some faith ideas into it; especially with all of the extra time they will have from the process.

So do a little research, make contact with some colleagues, and set up a meeting. Try to emphasize that this is a time-saving meeting and not a time-wasting meeting. I suggest that after your initial meeting, most of your lesson sharing be done via email, so that you can easily edit each others work for your own purposes.

Things to consider during your first meeting:
  • Divvy up the lessons (will each teacher take one subject for the year, or one unit of math this month and one unit of science for next month?)
  • How often do these lessons need to be exchanged? (plan a lesson at a time, a week at a time, a unit at a time?)
  • Are you sharing EVERYTHING or just a few subjects?
  • If emailing lessons, what format to use? (old Microsoft office, new Microsoft office (annoyingly not backwards, compatible), wordperfect, within the body of the email, .txt, other)
  • What units have already been covered by each teacher (you could share these, or if all teachers have already covered the same unit, you can move on)
By the end of your meeting you should have a clear idea of who will be responsible for what units, and when the first units can be ready for.

Let me know if you try this, and remember, the more teachers in your group, the less units you will have to prepare yourself. And, don't be afraid to tweak the lessons you receive.

You could even take this one step further and have meetings to reflect on the units after they have been implemented.

Please comment or send your questions to me at

Have great day!

Valerie :)


Karime Díaz said...

Hi Valerie, nice to meet you
I´m a kindergarden teacher from Chile, who will start working as English teacher on November, so I´m little scared! and I believe I need some help to start right I receive very thankful all kind of advice, tip material or experience

Valerie McInall said...

Bienvenudo, Karime!

I'm glad that you found my little corner of the Internet. I hope that I can be of help to you. Feel free to ask a specific question if you want to.

Karime Díaz said...

Ohh Thanks Valerie!

I don´t have clear what I will have to do or what in the school has done so I´m confused, anyway I want to do my best and stay there for a while.

Ok, for the moment I need to know "broking ice games" or something fun to do with children from 2 up to 5 years old.

Do you have msn? if you have you can add me if you want and let´s chat!

Thank you very much!

Have a good one


Valerie McInall said...

Hi Karime!

I think the only way you can clarify what you have to do versus what the school will do is to ask.

Please see my new blog post for some ice breaker ideas.