Let’s face it, teachers are creatures of habit. They like the way they do things because they are their way.
They like to work within departments because it is their department. Most schools will find that English, Science, Maths etc. will stay within their departments for meetings, breaks, lunchtimes because then they can discuss classroom antics with their colleagues that understand what they are talking about.
Drama and Music Departments
You normally find the smaller departments such as Drama and Music and the teaching assistants in the staff room as otherwise they would be alone. But this doesn’t really help to foster a collaborative feeling in a school or communicate to the students or visitors that the school works as one.
Not only that but you are missing out on the opportunity to find out what is happening elsewhere in the school, what projects other teachers are running and how you might be able to benefit from each other.
Teaching should be about share and share alike, not about what’s mine is mine. But the only way to achieve this is it be present in your school, and everywhere in your school, all the time.
One really simple way to connect more with your colleagues (whether it be in or outside of your department) is to do some co-teaching. This is a great way to learn from someone else, share the workload and make valuable links between subjects and topics.
You might find that while you are teaching how to write persuasive articles in English, the teacher in the History department is studying propaganda. Co-teaching across these two disciplines will not only give further depth to your subject but will show your students that the skills they are learning very easily cross-over.
Not only that but you will start to build a relationship with the History department as a whole, opening another door to you for advice, support or even just a discussion about some new ideas.
You’ve opened yourself up to the view of others than you are approachable and happy to work together.