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Part 1: Discuss hesitations you might have about using individual classroom student data—such as formative common assessments—in collaborative team meetings and what you would recommend to address any hesitations you identify.

Part 2: Describe the structure of collaboration and teaming within your organization, or an organization you have belonged to, and briefly highlight strengths and weaknesses.


Part 1: Hesitations about using individual classroom student data in collaborative team meetings.

              Without a strong caveat explaining specific unusual circumstances, I am reluctant to use individual classroom data in collaborative team meetings for a few reasons. One, student data connected to formative common assessments gives a less holistic view of progression or regression. It’s like taking a picture of my foot and making this image a reflection of my entire body.

I work in two professional areas. One, we independently contract with different types of business units. Each unit has unique data sets based on industry type. So, comparing one company or customer’s set of data to another’s is often like comparing apples to oranges. In other words, data collected from formative common assessments may not accurately correlate from one subject to another. Without open collaboration in team meetings, I might have fears that my data sets could give the wrong impression or reflection of the customer’s progress. However, with clear and open team acceptance of the difference between apples and oranges, the discussions can become fascinating and synergistic. Then, I am an instructor at Bates College.

Part 2: The structure of collaboration and teaming within my organization.

              So, I participate in two separate organizations.

First, we own a small consulting business that works primarily with our state’s energy grid and over a thousand individual contractors who experience safety incidents, accidents, or fatalities. Though COVID has impacted or distracted our timing, we often work at an accelerated pace. We respond to incidents and events on the grid with deep analysis and certain data collection to produce reports to agencies and our customers that intend to inspire or encourage change and provide or recommend additional employee training where appropriate. We depend on each other’s skillsets and must trust accuracy and timeliness in our work because local state and federal regulations are in constant flux. Here our collaboration depends on each other’s interpretations and definitions. It’s kind of fun.

Second, I teach in the Ironworkers apprenticeship program. Collaboration in our region is less formal and teaming typically occurs in each local facility. I manage and administer the affairs of our facility. We have five very talented and insightful certified instructors in our building. We have a vastly diverse demographic. All our students are eighteen or older. Two brothers in class arrived recently from Cameroon, three from Ukraine, a large inner-city minority population, and a myriad agenda involving social issues that fill our weekly team meetings. Our strengths lie mainly in our unit autonomy and frequent professional development. Our weaknesses would have to lie mainly in our recurring language barriers. Additionally, because we are all adults, there are social issues that are occasionally beyond our scope. One of our strengths here is that we depend on the maturity of each teacher to relate openly specific frustrations or data points and discuss them in an environment that is non-competitive and trusting. Ours is a high-hazard industry filled with frequent funerals. Subsequently, our work is often life or death creating a culture of family. We depend on each other as though we are in combat where there is little time for politics.


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