Sunday, October 30, 2011

Preparing for Our First Math Team Meeting

I am very happy to announce that the JBA Math Team will be having their first meeting on Wednesday, November 2nd.  Unfortunately it doesn't look like everyone one will be able to attend, but my fellow colleagues have shown a real interest in meeting an a regular basis to make the Math Department as coherent as possible.

So how did this all happen?

Well, around the middle of October I sent out an email to the 6th and 7th grade math teachers, our ICT teacher, both assistant principals, and the principal, asking if they would be willing to meet as a department.  The overall response I got (not from everyone) was positive, so I followed up asking everyone what days specifically worked best.  We realized that there was no real time during the day that we were all free to meet, so we decided that it would have to be after school.  Since we would be meeting after school, I emailed the principal and asked if we could get paid for any collaboration that we did, and she agreed.

Deciding on a date that worked for everyone wasn't easy, even with a department as small as ours, between after school clubs, grad school, and other commitments.  Eventually we decided on Wednesday, November 2nd, and everyone except the 7th grade math teacher would be able to attend.  Since it was our first meeting, we felt that we could fill her in.

In order to prepare for our meeting this week, I set up a Google Collection as a place to keep our team meeting agendas and any other resources we might out together.  I chose Google Collection because this year the Faculty and scholars all have their own Google email addresses, and I felt that this would be a good place to centralize our materials.  In our collection, I set up a Google Document with a tentative agenda, and encouraged, via email, the math team to add to it.  I emphasized that I wanted our meetings to be as useful for us as possible.   So far, one teacher as added to it.

What am I learning about collaboration?
I am excited to be setting up our math team meetings.  I feel like I am being productive, and it feels good to have the support of my colleagues.  As of right now, I don't plan on doing any math in our first meeting, but I do plan to do some math with my colleagues in future meetings.  I am happy to see this finally happening!  My assistant principal even commented that she is looking forward to seeing someone else besides her run the meeting, and that she happy she can focus on math once again (she was teaching Social Studies in the beginning of the year briefly).

1 comment:

  1. I think it’s great that the principal agreed to pay everyone to come to your learning group. She must really believe in your project. Consider inviting her to a session as well, Anna.
    So this isn’t a mandated thing, right? Can people show up whenever they want to? I would also consider setting dates ahead of time so people can make plans to attend.

    I don’t understand why you didn’t plan to do math at the first meeting. That’s your question, Anna. You need to make sure that you stay focused on your question. Isn’t doing math together the purpose of the meetings?

    I do think that just the process of setting up the meetings (getting the principal to agree to pay after-school monies, attempting to consider everyone’s difficult schedules) is a very important step in creating collaborative setting. It shows that you care about their time.