A short and sweet reflection on my experience on team teaching through Skype.
About a month ago I thought about how I can make my teaching even more exciting, challenging, engaging and fun. The answer was simple, Skype Team Teaching, now it was about who is willing to take this challenge with me.
I posted the question on Twitter, but no bites. A staff member I work with @murphydrew_ suggested Daniel Zito @mrdzito, so I waited patiently to hear back from him. With Daniel agreeing to test out team teaching through skype, it was now down to how do we plan to make this a successful lesson? What year levels do we target? What days and times suit your teaching and learning? What are we going to focus on? Luckily enough both schools were focusing on cricket and found a free and suitable time, so we decided to lock in the 2nd November at 10am, Grade 3 students (Taylors Hill PS) and Grade 4 students (Greythorn PS).
The learning intention was to work and learn as a team with the use of digital technology, Skype. My Grade 3’s taught the Grade 4’s a new warm up game and then the Grade 4’s taught my students how to bowl an overarm in cricket. It was fantastic to see the students so engaged and getting involved in the teaching. Mr Zito and I were the backup teachers, if needed to clarify and we were really impressed the way the students responded to each other. One of my students said “It feels like we are on TV and participating in a PE show.”
Our structure was whole – small – whole, once instructions were given both grades would go off and complete the activity, then come back to reflect on how we both went. It was very similar to what and how other teachers would run a team teaching session.
But for some reason this was more powerful. Why? This is something that I’ll continue to think about. Is it because of the use of ICT? Is it because students were excited to work with new students and to see what their school get up to? Is it because students feel comfortable in their own back yard, but still take part in powerful and meaningful learning experience with other students from other schools? I’m sure there is more than one answer to this question.
Of course there are always room for improvements, but the main thing here is we got out of our comfort zones and gave this challenge a go. I’m happy and proud to say this was a success. Do I recommend other teachers having a go? Absolutely, get in contact with another teacher begin that professional conversation and relationship to develop your learning and most importantly to enrich student learning.
Get out of your comfort zone and have a go. I'll be doing this again in the near future.
These are my own opinions and experiences. I love to share and reflect.