As teachers, we are always looking for ways to engage our students. We spend hours crafting lessons, as well as creating and locating resources. What I don’t understand is why some teachers aren’t willing to share what they have created. Is it a fear that it might not be good enough, or fed on competition? Do some teachers stop sharing because they don’t want to overwhelm their colleagues or is it because they are afraid others might think of them as “know-it-alls?”
I have always been willing to share ideas and resources, but have learned to share in small pieces and only when someone seems genuinely interested. As educators we need to support one another without worrying about what will be thought of our work. That’s hard. Teachers are pleasers for the most part. Teachers are also conscious that someone might be scrutinizing our efforts and pass judgment.
When teams learn to function together and have developed trust, I think this can change. I also think using online forums to share makes this process easier when team scaffolding isn’t in place.
Now you might be asking why I am pondering this point and analyzing it the way I am. Last night I received an email from a teacher in another school who had switched grades this year. She’s not new to the school, but climbing a steep hill as she works toward mastering the curriculum. Her teammates aren’t always willing to support her. She reached out to find support online. I was more than willing to help. I just wish we all could do this. We need to find a way to develop a support structure in our buildings, be willing to risk sharing without fear and continue to build our online PLNs.
Time to step down from my soapbox, however I’m not taking my rose colored glasses off. I still believe that deep down everyone wants to share, collaborate and help out.