Schools set aside meeting time for teachers to collaborate

Amy Hetzner:

To most of the working world, the business meeting is a usual – if not exactly appreciated – part of professional life.
To Jeanne Paulus, a resource teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Wauwatosa, her weekly meetings with fellow teachers are nothing less than earth-shattering.
While conversations between teachers might have been fleeting in years past, conducted quickly during bathroom breaks or brief moments in the day when they found themselves without their students, this year such discussions have become a regular part of the teachers’ week.
“To me, this is a huge, gigantic shift for teachers,” said Paulus, who teaches math and gifted education at Roosevelt.
The reaction is no less fervent at Kettle Moraine High School, which – like the Wauwatosa School District – started setting aside time this year for its teachers to meet after school.
At both places, students are dismissed early once a week to give their teachers time to plan, reflect on their teaching and analyze their students’ performance.
“What happens during this time is our teachers are learners, they’re not just teachers,” said Kettle Moraine High School Principal David Hay.