The Vitality of Collaboration Music Education by Joel Wagner - May 30, 2007July 5, 20100 Most of the band staff went to lunch today. We spent about an hour and a half at a pizza buffet, mostly talking and not eating pizza. Collaboration is a good thing, if done correctly. Here are some key elements that I observe when I work with colleagues: Have fun Relax Focus on positives Don’t spend all the time talking about work Don’t spend much time talking about negative things Do spend time discussing teaching strategies that work for you Don’t take yourself too seriously Learn something from everyone you can, even if you learn what not to do Planning is good. Planning as a group is one of the most effective ways to plan. No matter how long you’ve been doing something, someone else somewhere probably has a better approach to it. The people talking with you very well may be some of those people who have a better idea. So listen to their ideas. We spent today planning the calendar for next school year and started writing and revising the handbook. Tomorrow, we have a staff meeting in the morning followed by a more time working on the handbook and doing instrument inventory. I enjoy working with the people I’ll be working with. These are exciting times. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.