Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Enriching Collaboration with Colleagues-- A Neglected Pleasure

"It's about the kids"

"We've got to do it for the kids"

". . . . but I love the kids"

In thirty-five years of teaching I've heard variations on statements like the above so many times I almost bristle, because the teacher or administrator who utters it may be justifying just about any attitude or policy. Too cynical? I suppose , because I can count on one hand the educators who were in it only for the money, benefits, and summer off.

Yes, of course we are in it for the kids. But I have a confession to make. My most gratifying experiences this month were with other adults. Many of us (at least at my school) pretty much fight the good fight alone in our classrooms or other corners of the building. We brace ourselves for engagement at day's beginning and limping off to our caves at the day's end to muse about our victories or lick our wounds. So it has been a refreshing change of pace to join in some authentic collaboration with a vital network of people in my building who are helping me prepare for the November 9 in-service on personal learning networks. Thank you Colleen, Ann, Alison, Lynn, Will, Cheryl, Tom, Gary, Larry D. for giving me full-hearted support and really pitching in to meet our technical needs and plan a rich social media experience for full staff. I have really enjoyed rolling up my sleeves and working with and learning from a number of adults who are pulling in the same direction.

As we move forward, I'm hoping to have my cake and eat it too-- learning to become a better collaborator with both students and colleagues as co-learners.


"365/225" Flickr Creative Commons photo by


CherylCorte said...

Collaborating with you as an instructional partner while promoting engaging, learning experiences for our 21st Century learners, staff and students alike, has been truly gratifying! We've got to continue to strive to get teachers out of their caves, collaborating with one another, using tools that will help them share in the rich vital network of resources everyone now has available. Synergy empowers us to embrace information and technology to enhance the educational learning of our 'digital native' students! Your Media Center Staff

Gary said...

I'm also blessed to work alongside wonderful colleagues. We're here for the students, but the trip is much more enjoyable when we enjoy and respect our shipmates.

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