Schools are complex places. They are filled with a variety of people, generally working toward the same goal. Its funny when you realize that in many buildings, although they share the same general goal, for the most part, people work as individuals. Individuals who can’t or maybe don’t want to see how everyone fits together. This to me is strange when you consider that we encourage our students to collaborate and communicate on a regular basis.
How can educated professionals fail to see the importance of working with those around them? How can they forge ahead thinking their contribution is more important than others, or even worse, not acknowledging that what they do, (or don’t do) affects their colleagues. In order to improve our students collaboration and group work skills, shouldn’t we model for them how we, as adults, work together?
I get frustrated when I watch teachers resist change. I get almost angry when I listen to them complain about the change instead of working on a solution to make the situation better. How do we prove to these resistant staff members that change isn’t always negative, that we need to do what is best for students even if it isn’t what is easiest for us? Every adult in a school building plays a key role. Every educational position offers the opportunity to influence and change the lives of our students. How do we help show others how important it is to work together, to continuously improve our programming and to create new opportunities for our students?
I’ve been blessed with opportunities to work closely with colleagues, to learn from them, to share with them and to work together to improve student learning and opportunity. I work hard to surround myself with like minded educators, all who continue to shape who I am and who influence the impact I have on students. I understand that I alone am just one person, it takes a team to influence change and to make a difference in the lives of the students we teach. I’m saddened to know that I may not be the norm.
Changing culture is a difficult thing. We need to help all teachers recognize that together, we are better. Change is essential to the success of our students, to our professional development and can be accomplished through collaboration and communication. Looking at your current practice, are you an ambassador of change?