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As the need to better support English learners’ achievement in academically rigorous content area classes increases, so does the call for expanded ESL teacher – content area teacher collaboration. However, the nature and outcomes of such collaboration depend on how these professionals are positioned within their school settings. Using positioning theory as an analytic lens, this article investigates the collaborative interactions of two ESL teachers in two separate, but demographically similar suburban middle schools. It examines the impact of these ESL teachers’ collaborations on ELLs’ opportunities for academic language and content area learning, and it calls for the field to purposefully consider issues of culture and agency in teacher partnerships. Overall, this article informs educators’ and teacher educators’ efforts to optimize school-based, ELL--focused teacher collaboration.