There are numerous opportunities for teacher/ TL collaboration in our current school communities but even more in the aspirational learning communities suggested in Organisational Learning literature.
I believe Guided Inquiry approaches are probably the most important collaboration opportunities that would have the greatest effect on student outcomes and support the development of learning communities because GI requires a team of teachers to be involved in the inquiry process and sees their role move from the sage on the stage to facilitator. GI supports a reframe of the teacher as a learner and students and teachers learning together as an integral part of the process.
Other opportunities for teacher and TL collaboration are: Collaboratively programming classroom-based units to incorporate visual literacy, digital literacy and support ICT skills development; Group Guided Reading support in resource based areas; digital citizenship integration in all student learning; resource reviews and presentations; class blog co-development and mentoring; comprehension and vocabulary extension support programs integrated in inquiry learning projects; jointly created, cross-curriculum webquests, book trailers, book reviews and digital stories; action research and evidence based learning; and so on.
Collaboration and developing the learning community is dependent on support from the administration of the school. Most teachers are motivated, energetic and excited about collaborating with other teachers to create engaging opportunities for their students. However, as Cibulka, Coursey, Nakayama, Price and Stewart (2003) found in their extensive review of schools as learning organisations, “Strong leadership is required to build and sustain a learning organisation, including the creation of positive conditions and opportunities at the school level.” Successful collaboration requires a culture change. Teachers and TLs need flexible timetabling and time-out from face to face teaching to be able to collaborative effectively.