This is resonating with me this morning after I reflect on the events of this week. It is so true that teachers should and need to collaborate and learn from one another. None of us have all the answers. Some of us have great lessons for one thing and others have a great lesson for other things. Where one struggles to teach commas, maybe your co-teacher has a great idea that will help you.
While none of us can take someone else’s lesson and carbon copy it (wow that makes me look old), we can take it and make it fit our needs and our teaching style. We can and need to learn from each other.
What we need to stop doing is forcing the mentality upon our colleagues that “this is the way we do it, and it is the only way.” Just because it works for one teacher, doesn’t mean it works for the person next door.
This one size fits all way of thinking and assessing student learning does not work for education. It does not work for our students, it is not what is best for them and it is not what is best for teachers.
Teachers who have the ability to think outside the box are often ridiculed for not fitting into the mold that was created for them by some antiquated ideal of what a teacher should be. These same teachers have students who are in their classes who are engaged in the learning process and are learning. Those two things should speak volumes about the teacher. Not what some ideal of what a teacher should look like.
I certainly do not fit into any mold anywhere. I can’t even find the box. Yet, my students are learning. They are becoming better readers and writers. I know my content area like the back of my hand. Why, because I am passionate about English. I am a giant nerd. I read all the time. I spend hours trying to figure out how hone my craft. Not only that, but I want to know my content inside and out so I can be a better teacher.
This also gives me the ability to figure out how to reach the students that may seem un reachable. I want them to learn. I want to know what they know. I want to know how I can help them get there. Sometimes the process is just as important as the outcome. Sometimes it is more important.
As teachers, we need to learn to collaborate in a positive way. We need to support each other. Enough of the world is against us and tearing us down. There must be a friendship build amongst us that enables us to share our thoughts and ideas with each other in a meaningful way. It is beyond time.