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