It seems that there are still teachers out there who equate sharing and collaborating with previous, bad experiences. Sharing and collaborating for them means opening their classroom doors to others and that in turn must mean the dreaded inspection and lesson observation both of which are necessarily bad. Even sharing their fabulous documents in a shared area is seen as a way to check up on them.
However, thankfully, times have changed and there are a growing number of teachers out there who are trusting of such open approaches. Sharing and collaborating is, in its simplest form, a way to avoid re-inventing the wheel. At its very best it is a way to enhance what is happening in the classroom, in our departments, across departments and in our schools as a whole. The moment I joined Twitter on Friday 14th June 2013 I became aware of the power of collaboration and I realised how much good work was going on not just within schools but across schools all over the world.Take one good tweet, with a fabulous idea – use it or upuse it (my new term for taking a resource and making it fit for purpose in my working environment with a small tweak or two) and then retweet as it is not just about taking but giving too.
The sharing and collaborating is not restricted to lesson ideas but also plays a part in our thought processes and the way we approach our teaching. It is a useful reminder of teaching methodologies that we may have forgotten – and in the busy life of a teacher it’s easy to see why and how we forget. Sharing and collaborating is best for us and most importantly, it is best for our pupils; they will be the ones who benefit the most from such an embracing culture.
The job of those who do collaborate and share is to teach those who do not to see how invigorating such openness and such an approach can be. The sharers and collaborators need to get out, convert and welcome some new members to this large, helpful, like-minded – but diverse in so many ways - group of individuals.