“Together We Are Better”
~ John Paul Warren
With our administrative partnerships.
With our teachers and Education Assistants in our schools.
Among our relationships with district-wide colleagues.
Within the community.
With our world-wide #pln.
Sharing matters. We are most often better when we work together. We have so much to learn from one another both personally and professionally. Each one of us has so much to share as well. If you think you don’t have anything to share, please watch this video: Obvious to you, Amazing to Others.
When I was a classroom teacher, I collaboratively taught with the other grade 1 teacher next door. We weren’t teaching within the same classroom walls, however, we visited each others rooms often. We observed one another teaching regularly. We taught each other’s students. We planned lessons and completed units together. Each day, we seemed to talk about our practise: what went well, what didn’t go so well. It was powerful learning for us both and possibly even more powerful learning for our students. As a result of this collaborative teaching , each student benefited from the knowledge, the passion, and ideas, and the suggestions of two teachers.
As an administrator, I feel that sharing is powerful and essential in our continuous learning journey. I learn so much from the teachers and Education Assistants at our school. I learn from my administrative partner on a daily basis. Additionally, a group of local administrators started a private Facebook chat a couple of months ago and we continue to learn from and with one another. We are growing closer as a group because we are sharing our struggles, our joys, our passions, our ideas, and our own personal stories. They are all inspiring and truly amazing people, educators, and leaders.
Furthermore, I have found a broader #PLN which reaches across the provincial school districts, across the border and into the United States, and around the world (I’m sounding a little like Rosie’s Walk here). The insight, the advice, support, and sharing has been powerful in my own learning and development as a teacher and educational leader.
So, my message today is to please share. Please listen. Please continue to learn. Share with others around you – near and far. Take in what others have to say and share. There will be things you can use and things that may not fit your personal “style”. There will be things that will push your thoughts and take you out of your comfort zone. There will be ideas that may make you rethink and change your current practise.
Sharing is the key to learning. Sharing is the key to our growth and development, both personally and professionally.
“The miracle is this: The more we share the more we have.”
— Leonard Nimoy
“Everyone needs help from everyone.”
— Bertolt Brecht
How are you sharing?
How are you learning from others?
From whom are you learning?
8 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Share On!”
Tia, this blog makes me think of the first line of Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten credo, “Share everything.” (1986). Sharing really is the way we become connected to each other and learn from each other. Share on, Tia!
That’s a great connection, Michelle! You know, I strongly believe that every class in every grade should have at least a little bit of kindergarten! I actually think all grade should have a LOT of kindergarten, but at least a little would be nice. Too much changes for kids and learning when kids leave the wonders of kindergarten.
Your connection made me laugh and think of how your connection made me think of Robert Munsch’s We Share Everything. hahaha While I do value sharing a great deal, and think that we would all be even better if we would share more than we do, I really hope everyone doesn’t start sharing their clothes while they are at it! (ok, that was silly. How can you tell I am exhausted?)
Thank you for reading and responding, Michelle!
I hope you enjoy your long weekend,
Your sharing about you and your Grade 1 colleague collaborating is inspirational and so essential for our development as teachers. In secondary, we really have a lot to learn from our elementary teachers. Every time we emerge from our silos and share with others, we improve our practice. Collaboration is at the heart of all innovation. I’m learning a great deal from my diverse PLN and I am constantly amazed at the magic of Twitter and how when I need something a member of my PLN is sharing about it.
Have a great weekend!
Collaborating with my Grade 1 colleague was some of the best teaching of my career. It was truly collaborative, in every way. Looking around, I don’t see that many teachers doing that too often, but when they do, is magical – for the students, but also for them as professionals! There is nothing like doing things together with someone who has similar passions and a willingness to take risks and learn from someone else (and teach someone else as well).
I also love how I can ask my PLN things and they respond! Wow! The power of connection is really amazing!
Have a lovely long weekend, Lisa!
Thanks for reading and responding,
One thing I’ve learned to do in sharing with my pln and our FB group is to seek out more diverse and opposing viewpoints. On twitter, at first i followed people who echoed my own beliefs and philosophies, but there’s a danger of turning it into a big echo chamber. Try listening in on a chat that you haven’t joined before or follow the conversation (polite argument?) between tweeps. It’s illuminating and broadens the horizons!
It is definitely much more interesting, thought-provoking, and idea-changing when you broaden your pln to those who might not be in your “circle”. That is when we truly grow – we grow when we have to defend something we strongly believe in and we grow when we truly listen, see another perspective, and then change our own (or part of it) as a result. So much better than an echo-chamber!
I haven’t been to a chat in awhile. Which would you recommend (when things slow down a bit, of course)?
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Carol!
Well lately I’ve been enjoying #sblchat on Wednesdays at 6 pm. All about standards-based grading and moving away from grading practices that don’t promote learning. A very passionate group of people who are always willing to explain strategies and concepts to newbies!
Oh, I am going to have to try to make one of those chats, Carol! It sounds like I would love it!
Maybe give me a reminder sometime. 🙂