One way to make integration work and work well is to collaborate with others. We cannot be experts in everything and with all the talent that lingers in our colleagues and acquaintances (online and off) we can design some really great integration opportunities for our students.
Collaboration is something I have blogged about before. I know it is a valuable part of our profession. Think about it. We work with teachers who have so much to offer. There are those that teach specific subject areas such as music, art, history, biology, poetry, drama, literature…the list goes on! And even when a teacher doesn’t teach a specific subject, there may be a hidden (or not so hidden) interest or talent that they have. It’s our job to use the people around us as resources, providing the best learning experiences we can. We owe it to our students.
This isn’t always easy. I’m the first to admit that. Finding the time alone to meet with and follow through with others is a challenge. But I have to remind myself that part of our success as a school community is driven by our ability to collaborate.
When we do collaborate with the other teachers in our school or district a wonderful message is sent out to our students that teachers work together. We should never be in competition with one another, we must work towards the same goal.
So, think about what teachers and personnel you have in your building. Who are those that you can approach to come into your room and work with you? Maybe your principal is an artist or the special education teacher plays the guitar. Maybe your classroom neighbor tells great stories or a member of your PLN can talk about a special holiday that occurs in their country.
Whether it’s for arts integration or not, collaboration is a valuable piece of your teaching repertoire!
For more on collaboration, visit the COLLABORATION TAG where there there are numerous posts on how to put collaboration into practice. There may be just the right title in there for your needs.