Image via Pixabay
As educators I believe that we need to be open to sharing our resources, ideas and challenges with one another. There is too much to take on alone. Plus, teaching is a somewhat isolated job as we are typically in our individual classrooms facing the students – one to 28, 29, 30 or possibly 31…
Full disclosure, it’s been a particularly long Monday.
Gif via GIPHY
Collaboration among teachers is important at any stage in your career. I am not sure if I will ever be done adapting lessons or assignments. Every time I begin to plan or organize a unit I almost always change or adapt something, either because it’s dated, perhaps it was unclear or it wouldn’t mesh well with those specific students. It’s exhausting to think I will never be “done” with an assignment, but at the same time it is refreshing. I’ll always get the chance to improve and grow.
I think that a big part of openness is being adaptable. Students are always evolving as are our curriculum mandates and expectations. For example over the next three or so weeks I will be attending PD sessions on incorporating Treaty education, and meeting the needs of EAL learners. There are a lot of things teachers are trying to achieve in addition to the basic minimum curriculum requirements. It would be unrealistic to do it all alone without any support from colleagues. This support could be in the form of resources, reviewing of my materials, discussion or collaboration.
Openness is also important in the area of improvement. Other people are able to offer a differing perspective, or simply even provide a ready-made unit or assignment when we are most in need of one. I know that I have received many resources that were lifesaving early on in my career. I have also benefit by asking a more experienced colleague to examine my final exam for a certain course. The feedback I received was valuable, and time saving as she pointed out some ways I could simplify the marking in addition to ensuring the content is sufficient.
While teacher supervision is a mandatory process it wouldn’t be to anyone’s benefit if the teacher were not receptive to the process or any feedback. In our school system there is a supervision cycle where everyone completes a supervision process with their in-school administrator approximately every 5-8 years. It’s a lot of work for both parties involved as far as paperwork and a time commitment. Regardless, it needs to be done. If the teacher or administrator, who was or still possibly is a classroom teacher is not open to a dialogue and sharing experiences the process could simply be a waste of everyone’s limited time.
What are your thoughts and experiences with openness and education? I feel like my perspective is pretty common among teachers, do you agree? Do you think other professions have the same level of openness and collaboration?
On a completely unrelated note below is a gif I made! It’s of my almost 2 year at a local trampoline park. This made my Monday that much better.