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Sample Writing Prompt

Your principal is trying to create an environment in which the staff at your school works together more effectively and has asked for your help. Write a memo to your fellow teachers on this topic. In this memo include why it is important for staff to collaborate, possible ways this might be accomplished, and the potential challenges of collaboration.

Your response will be evaluated based on how well you communicate your message to the intended audience, not on your personal opinions, position, or point of view. Your response will be evaluated based on how well organized and focused your writing is, how well you develop and elaborate on your ideas, and your grammar and mechanics.

Test-Taking Tip

Make sure you address the entire prompt. If it asks for three points or multiple examples, make sure you include that in your response.

Example of a “4” Response

TO: All Teachers
FROM: J. Jones
RE: Collaboration Among Teachers
DATE: January 30, 2007

Teamwork is a valuable tool for reaching shared educational goals. Through
collaboration, teachers can share their ideas, develop new strategies on working with
challenging students, educational problems can be solved and evaluation of new
techniques can be completed. By working together, teachers will be able to assure parents
that their child is being taught the same information as another student in the same grade
by teaching the curriculum simultaneously. This allows for education to be fair and if a
student needs to be placed in another classroom, there is no question as to what the
student has already been taught. In effective collaboration, teachers will feel respected,
share in the decision making process and accountability of the outcomes, create clear
goals, and value all team members’ ideas.

There are several ways teachers can work together to increase the cohesiveness in their
team. Team building exercises are important in building relationships and confidence
with each other. This also allows the team to identify strengths and weaknesses
throughout the team. Once these are determined, tasks can be assigned to certain
members such as making copies for the team, developing activities and centers, and
working together on lesson plans so that each child gets the same opportunity to learn.

Some challenges to collaborating may include such issues as personality differences,
organizational skills, and time. However, let’s embrace these challenges and make them
positive. Personality differences may assist us in exploring new ways to educate our
students, allow us to step out of our comfort zone, and learn more efficient ways in doing
things. Some teachers may be more organized than others and want to support those of
us that are not. There may be short cuts that reduce the amount of time we spend doing
our lesson plans, copies, etc. Finally, making the time to meet with your team may be
difficult; however, making a commitment to meet once a month, may improve the
efficiency of your job and classroom environment tremendously.

If you have any suggestions on other ways to collaborate, please contact me.