Eureka! I think I’ve got it! Thanks to all of your fantastic feedback on my previous posts, I realized that the Collaboration Continuum I started this weekend isn’t really a continuum at all – it’s a cycle:

To me, the cycle idea makes much more sense than a continuum. For starters, I really didn’t like the idea that teachers would feel that they should be at one end of the continuum – the pressure to “figure out” where you are on the path and how you compare to others is just too tempting (and intimidating).  I also didn’t like the visual impression that it was a finite process, appearing as if once you make it to the mentoring stage you’re done.

So, I went back to the drawing board, and came up with the concept of a cycle.

I love the fact that there’s no definite beginning or end, which acknowledges the fact that all teachers come to a school with different history and different needs. Not everyone will need to start with “full collaboration” when they come to ISB because they might have already done something like that at a previous school.

I also like the idea that the cycle builds in a support infrastructure for continuing this process indefinitely – once a teacher has been through the process and reaches the mentoring stage, s/he will go on to be a fully collaborative with another teacher who’s ready on their team, and then that teacher will do the same for another member of the team. This way the learning and experience of one teacher turn into the learning and experience of many – especially important in international schools where we tend to have lots of staff turnover.

What do you think? Is this better? More approachable and less intimidating to staff? Any other ideas for improvement?

Just out of curiosity, could/would you use this at your school? Do you have someone who could be responsible for implementing this process and begin the collaboration cycle with a group of willing teachers?