Dear New Teacher:
Welcome to our PLC team! We are so happy to welcome you to our collaborative team! The teacher shortage has been really tough on all of us, and we are glad that you’re here. As you get acclimated to our school, there are a few things you should know about us.
- We focus on essential standards.
The teachers in our grade level work as a team to make sure all students master the standards we determine essential. While all standards are important, they are not equally important. As you plan your daily lessons, it will be important for you to know which standards are absolutely essential for student mastery, so you may want to review the list that is in our common drive. We will discuss these essential standards during our team meetings as we prepare for each unit to ensure all of our team members agree. We will also review our data from last year to determine if we need to research new strategies and resources to support student learning.
- Our assessments are team created, and we analyze the results together.
Our team of teachers work together to assess student learning during each unit, rather than just at the end. We all participate in the creation of formative assessments of essential learning targets and bring that data to team meetings so we can figure out which teaching practices are working, which are not, and which students need additional support on those specific learning targets. This helps us identify the changes we need to make mid-unit and helps us correct any misunderstandings before the unit gets too far along and students become even more confused. Our data also show us which students have mastered the essentials so we can extend their learning rather than allow them to become bored or complacent.
- We plan interventions and extensions together as a team.
The students in our grade level belong to all of us, so we work together to plan interventions and extensions for all students in our grade level based on the results of our common assessments. Each teacher on our team has his/her own strengths, so we leverage those strengths when we decide who will provide interventions on different learning targets. If most of my students struggled on a learning target, it may be that the teacher next door is better suited to help my students with that particular target. Our goal is for all students to learn at high levels, so if a teammate can help them get there, we are all for it! Our students’ learning is more important than our egos.
- You have a lot to offer.
Our grade-level team consists of teachers with varying levels of experience and expertise, but only you are YOU. While we do not expect you to enter our school as an instructional genius, we know you bring unique talents and perspectives that will make our community of teacher learners even richer than it is already. Please don’t feel intimidated by others who have more experience than you; we value your contributions!
As you prepare for this new school year, please know that we are excited to learn with you! Although there will be challenges along the way, our team is strong, and we will work together to overcome them. Teaching can be a tough job, but you don’t have to do it alone. You have an entire team of colleagues here to support you. Now, let’s go have a great year!
Your Collaborative Team