Teachers are being paid to collaborate with each other, staying on campus for an hour designated for just that purpose. The benefit is the ability to connect and exchange ideas with each other, and making the time and focused effort to do it.
In Sacramento City Unified School District, a new teacher collaboration hour happens every Thursday, after students leave. The students stay longer on the other four days, and leave early so the teachers have their paid collaboration time on a regular basis.
Research suggests that a regular period for collaboration enhances learning and teaching. “We discover what other teachers are doing as far as techniques or innovative ideas that we may have never thought of,” said Einstein Middle School math teacher Val Barcenas. “We just learn from each other on an ongoing basis.”
According to Einstein Principal Garrett Kirkland, teachers devised the plan for weekly meetings. “The fact that it’s in their day and paid for means they really feel valued,” he said.