Many years ago, in the early days of my teaching career, I don’t have many memories of teacher collaboration where I taught.
In the pre-Google era, we would copy worksheets from books of blackline masters on shelves in the resource room and make our own worksheets using a word processor. We would make these things, horde them and not share.
As a teacher there seemed to be a certain level of competition. Everyone wanted to look better than the teacher next door. If you shred your resources, maybe someone in administration might see them using it, they’ll look good and get all the pats on the back.
I’m not sure why this mindset seemed more common, but it did. So… of course you wouldn’t share. Of course, you wouldn’t let your colleagues know your classroom “secrets.” If they look better than you, maybe they’ll get a pay bump or promotion that you actually deserved!
Fast forward to today. Today I CAN’T BELIEVE I ever thought that way.
When I made my first move to an IB school teaching the Primary Years Program, things changed. Everything was about collaboration. Our year level teams were tightly interwoven with planning and creating/sharing of resources. We collaborated with upper and lower year levels. We worked together and it made our teaching more consistent and simply put…better!
Now as a teacher, I can’t imagine NOT sharing with my colleagues.
Sharing is caring (strongly reinforced by my daughter when she as in Pre-Kindergarten).
When you make resources, lesson plans and have other fantastic ideas, share them with your colleagues. It will make you a better team and in turn, your students will benefit!
Drop the ego, relax on the whole “competition thing” and help those around you.
They will appreciate it and soon your reputation of being AWESOME will grow!
About the Writer:
Kevin O’Shea is a PYP/Nature/Outdoor educator currently based in Beijing, China. He is a father, husband, and avid conservationist. Kevin is an advocate for outdoor play and nature education. He is the host of the long-running Just Japan Podcast and is currently developing the Making Better Teachers Podcast!