We have a week on collaboration on the iTDi blog this week with new posts full of great ideas, tips and activities to use with your students. It seems like a pretty important week as the whole iTDi institute and community is all about collaboration.
Steven Herder said :“Collaboration creates just the right amount of tension to get lots done.”
Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto added: “We are better when we work together”
and Chuck Sandy talks about gratitude – TED Talk audition
And I was again thinking about teachers for a change. The idea of iTDi is a great example of how and why collaboration works and benefits everyone included.
So why so many teachers in schools do not collaborate (support and encourage each other)?!
What can collaboration give you?
Since being a part of iTDi team and among some other great people in my school and online community, I can tell that collaboration brings feelings of belonging somewhere, helps confidence and broadens our horizons with new ideas and ways of doing things.
Why do some people still resist?!
Collaboration is of course about communication, sharing and giving. Not everyone feels secure or confident enough to do that for various reasons. Everyone has a different personality, with different opinions and “voice” in what they do and how they do it. We should always remember that and try to avoid any conflict that results from different attitudes as well as appreciate diversity and the strengths of others.
So if you already “tasted” that productive collaboration, go and take it to your school. Take your time, do it slowly and give your colleagues time to get used to it too.
Bring collaboration to your staff room through SURPR@ISE and praise one person every day for the nice and interesting things they are doing or did. Tell them there is something you want to learn from them and surprise them with your support, ideas and true interest. Offer yourself and your ideas or activities that worked in your classes. Choose a project to work on together (try a Lipdub activity or my activity on Writing&Speaking in stages between classes) because that’s an easy and fun way to get to know each other better and start to work together…better.
Maybe not everyone feels ready for online communities but everyone needs someone to turn to and share their sorrows as well as achievements. Be there!