Outschool is now offering collaborative teaching opportunities with the introduction of Teaching Teams. Teaching Teams consist of 2-6 current Outschool educators who are eager to work together to design and deliver customized learning plans to small groups of learners. Educators on a team will share responsibilities for teaching classes, communicating with families, and adhering to an established learning schedule for their shared classes. (Learn more here.)
In order to apply to participate in this pilot program, you must first form your Teaching Team. But how do you find the right co-educators? Take a look at the tips below!
Questions to Ask Before You Commit
Team teaching can be a fantastic opportunity to enhance learning – if you collaborate with the right partners. Not everyone will be a great fit with your teaching style or preferences, and that’s okay. Ask these questions before committing to form a team to make sure you’ll be on the same page as your co-educators.
“What do you teach?”
It’s best to select co-educators who will complement your expertise and diversify your team’s curriculum offerings. For example, does a great Teaching Team need 6 experts in painting with watercolors? Probably not. The more topics your team can teach well, the more class requests you’ll be able to accommodate.
“How would you describe your teaching style?”
This is a big one! While educators with very different teaching styles can work well together, it’s often easiest to teach alongside those on the same page about classroom management and organization. While discussing your approach to instruction and learner relationships, ask things like:
- What types of tools do you use to increase engagement and manage behavior?
- Do you want a co-educator who will be present in class and assist in instruction, or do you prefer to always teach solo?
- How do you address learners’ social-emotional needs in class?
“What does team teaching look like to you?”
This question can help you get into the details of how you will handle working together, both in class and behind the scenes. Will you have shared materials? What are your scheduling needs? What will our policy be if one educator needs to miss a class due to illness or emergency? Establishing these expectations from the get-go will make for smoother sailing later on.
“How big should our team be?”
While your team can consist of up to 6 educators, you don’t have to have a huge team to be successful. Typically, teams of 2-3 have the easiest time collaborating and coordinating learning plans.
“Who will be our team administrator?”
One member of your Teaching Team will need to fill the role of team administrator. This educator will be the primary person responsible for communication with Outschool and families with learners enrolled in your classes. Choose a volunteer willing to take on this extra responsibility and guide your team through the application process (and beyond!).
Where to Connect With Outschool Educators
At this point, you may still be asking: But how do I find other educators who may be interested in teaming up with me? Luckily, there are a few great community spaces you can use to connect with fellow educators.
- Ask Your Circle
Do you have friends or acquaintances in the Outschool educator community? Put it out there that you might be interested in forming a Teaching Team! You never know who will respond with a “Count me in!” or may know someone else who would be a good fit for your team.
- Post in the Outschool Teacher Hub on Facebook
The Hub is a great place to network with and get to know your fellow educators. Look out for educators posting about forming a Teaching Team or publish a post yourself! When posting, be sure to be specific about details like which types of expertise or classes will best complement your own, what teaching style will mesh well with yours, and any other details we reviewed above.
- Chat Over Zoom or Google Meet
Once you’ve found a few interested educators, take the time to get to know one another before applying as a team. You want to be sure that your personalities, approach to instruction, and schedules line up before committing to work together. You can also use this as a chance to establish who will be your team administrator during the application process.