Collaboration – Whatever It Takes?

The challenge is you have to work with people

If you joined us for yesterday’s post, we challenged ourselves with a line from a book I was reading, “Whatever it takes–that’s the job of a teacher.” And just like yesterday, we are going to keep reading with the grain, accepting what the text says at face value.

Before we jump in, I have a confession to make: I have opinions, and I like talking about them! I have noticed that this makes collaboration more complex, and sometimes downright difficult. And I’m not talking about difficult for me, I’m talking about some of the poor souls that have had to work with me! 

Recently, I was doing some reading and reflecting with a small group of people, and in our reading we hit on the topic of clearing up relationships. There was one person I had “collaborated” with in the past, and this relationship came to mind. I realized I needed to clear things up with this person, so I made contact and asked for forgiveness for how stubborn I was. Thankfully, this person was really gracious and said I was forgiven. Phew!

Getting back to the notion of “whatever it takes,” collaborating with colleagues, though difficult and time consuming, has the potential to lead to student success in ways that working alone can never reach. The challenge is you have to work with people. If you put your ideas out there, you are opening a piece of yourself up to criticism. Maybe others don’t like them. And, what’s worse, maybe you’re wrong!

Now, let me state this clearly: collaboration only works when people come together in the best interests for students. In that vein, consider the following:

  • Are you doing whatever it takes to engage in meaningful collaboration to make learning better for students?
  • Are you doing whatever it takes to work with difficult relational dynamics in a group?
  • Are you doing whatever it takes to come to the table with the attitude that will lead to better student outcomes?

Collaboration is difficult. Collaboration with difficult people is even harder. But are you doing “whatever it takes?”

I want to hear about challenges you’ve faced in collaborating with colleagues, especially where you have made strides and faced down the challenge.

 

Photo credit for today’s post: rawpixel.com

4 thoughts on “Collaboration – Whatever It Takes?”

  1. My daughter is an elementary music teacher. She has worked for over 7 years in Title I schools, hoping to make it ten years to be eligible for loan forgiveness (Florida). She is always thinking of new ways to creating programs that make it fun for the kids, even the Pre-K students. She has no aide in the classroom and every child in the school comes through her classroom each week. I know she is smarter than the average bear about curriculum development (she’s had to do it all herself), and use of technology, as well as improving her skill set by attending extra workshops. What I’m getting at is this: every time she lets anyone in administration know that she knows how to do something (that they don’t), instead of promoting a climate of collaboration, it seems to create an air of envy and resentment…then they start looking for a way to get rid of her. Gossip and subterfuge reign supreme in her district.

    Like

    1. I am sorry to hear about this. That is unfortunate. I have experienced working under supportive administrations and under less than supportive ones. The ones who aren’t as supportive can really zap my energy.

      From your brief description, I am picturing a time when I worked under an administration that was insecure and afraid. It wasn’t so much that they didn’t want to work with people, but they didn’t know how to integrate all the people willing to help into their picture of how things were supposed to run. And when I was a new teacher, I was the same way with my students, a control freak.

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Tell your daughter to “hang in there” for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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