How do we engage learning communities through instruction?
An Interdisciplinary Approach at Westport Middle School, Louisville KY
Since December, my middle school team has collaborated to create a standards-based, interdisciplinary unit. All I had to do was ask. I asked teachers for their ideas – for their time. Not only were my colleagues open to it, but energized by my questions and encouragement.
Over winter break, we shared ideas and resources. In team meetings, conversation flowed during time now devoted to curriculum building rather than venting about the time we didn’t have to meet our kids’ needs. Colleagues from other teams asked questions about our work. In the gloomy winter where some fall into traps of fatigue and negativity, teachers collaborated and created.
We chose a topic we knew students would engage with and appreciate - food - and discussed creative ways to teach the standards through an exploration of their interests and experiences. We found ways to help students find a reason to want to learn.
Melissa Shearon, a National-Board certified teacher, teaches English Language Arts at Westport Middle School in Jefferson County Public Schools. Currently a member of the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching's Classroom Teachers to Enact Positive Solutions, she works with teachers across the state to promote teacher leadership within schools. Her passion for culturally responsive instruction and collaborative practices guides her work in the profession.