Saturday, September 20, 2014

Collaboration

In my post last week I discussed the quotes that were important to us to grow personally.  It was suggested that we support each other in trying to live out our mantras for the school year so we posted them in the teachers' room. What a great example of being collaborative and support each other as we learn and grow.

Collaboration is important in schools because as stated in an article in Education World: "The days of closing the classroom door and creating a self-contained world are over. The autonomous classroom simply doesn't exist -- and for good reason. Our students need more than just one person to guide their education. They need the added power of several brains working together for their good."
The article goes on to list 4 requirements to successful collaboration.  
They are:
1. a willingness to work with others and the ability to recognize that you can't do it all on your own

2. seek out the support faculty and staff

3. be humble and listen to the advice of others

4. plan with other members of your grade level team

(to see the article go to: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/columnists/mcdonald/mcdonald014.shtml)

The one requirement I struggle with is to recognize that I can't do it all on my own.  (Thus the reason my mantra this year is: I can do anything, but I can't do everything!)  I sometimes forget that I can ask for help from others instead of struggling on my own.  

At McGovern we are so fortunate to have many people that we can call upon to collaborate with: reading teachers, Title 1, SpEd teachers, tech integration specialists, and even myself the coach.  All of these people are there to support us and guide us so we can grow stronger and wiser together as a team of teachers.  

Who will you call upon to help you collaborate?  Which one of these requirements is speaking to you? 

Feel free to respond all with your thoughts.  Let's get the conversation going about collaboration!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Your Mantra this Year?

The new school year is much like a January new year for many of us - filled with resolutions and promises.  Lately I heard from a few of my peers that they have new quotes to guide them this new school year.  My principal started things off when she said her quote for the year would be from Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame.   "Make it work" is her quote of the year as we look at integrating reading workshop.  Yesterday I met with a teacher to discuss schedule concerns. We looked over and over again at her day and discussed what was important and what needed to go.  Her email to me last night stated that she had re-worked her schedule, made some necessary adjustments but had to leave out some things she loved to do but were no longer needed.  She said her quote this year was "let it go!"  And then, just this morning as I was reading a few emails, I came across an article about quotes for children and one quote jumped off the page and sang to me: "you can do anything, but not everything."  Boy, did I need to hear those words.  As I try to make adjustments to my long days and nights I promised myself to leave at a more reasonable hour each afternoon. This will not be easy for me so I challenge you all to remind me of my mantra.  

What is your quote for the year?  Please consider sharing your quote with us so we can support each other in our quest to be better teachers and better people in general.