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So often as teachers we forget to implement what we know to be true into other areas of our lives. For instance, we know that research shows cooperative learning improves student achievement. But how often do we seek out cooperative learning opportunities for ourselves? While some schools implement Professional Learning Communities, we can consider additional ways to learn with our peers.

Most of us belonged to study groups in college, but do we still look for ways to interact with fellow educators to discuss research articles, books, or videos? Fellow teachers often share excellent advice when we are struggling and can help explain strategies and techniques. We share a common goal of helping students regardless of grade level, school, or district.

Administrators will definitely want to take note of the benefits of providing time for collaboration. It has been shown to increase retention rates of teachers and their satisfaction. When teachers feel support and a shared sense of responsibility, the result is often a higher performing school.

A study done in Pennsylvania showed 6 benefits of teacher collaboration. One example was that teachers were more likely to try something new in their classroom because they felt supported. Teachers became one another’s best resources. As teachers developed, student effort increased.

Teachers should not operate independently!  We need our peers to be a sounding board, to give feedback, and to reflect together. Teachers benefit from this, and the students do, too!

College Credit Connection has developed the Group Facilitator Program to encourage our students to take a professional development course with others and enjoy the benefits of both the flexibility and shared learning. The goal of the Group Facilitator Program is to enhance CCC’s online professional development courses by allowing students to enjoy both the benefits of our self-paced format and cooperative learning! Meet as often as you’d like (face-to-face, virtually, email, Facebook group, etc.) to discuss what you are learning, share ideas of how to apply the content, collaborate on lesson plans and assessments, and reflect.

Have a great story about collaborating with your peers? Share it below!

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