Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Slice #8 2012 -Teacher Sharing, Helping and Collaborating

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.


  1. Good questions. I was once in that situation of being new, my colleague would never show me anything unless I point blank asked about something. I don't get it. Ask me I'll share, take what you want and use in your own unique way. Great food for my lunchtime thinking!

  2. I have always wondered about this lack of sharing, too. We want students to share, collaborate, give feedback, work together - but we hoard our own ideas? Different schools have different cultures. I have landed in a place where collaborating and sharing thrive. It is awesome to be surrounded by like-minded colleagues! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Sharing is very key in success. I often wonder what politicians hope to accomplish when they create a teacher evaluation system that puts teachers in competition with each other.

  4. I completely agree with you Darlene! I try to encourage sharing, but it just doesn't happen. I share ideas or great books, get a couple heads to nod in agreement, and . . . I'm not so sure what the deal is, but it is frustrating. We are here to work together for these kids -- if something is working, let's share! Let's talk! Let's collaborate! Most of the time the sharing I see is a pass of a "worksheet." Ugh . . . there has to be better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And I'm guessing we are online, blogging, tweeting, and reading because we have a community of teachers to share with out in cyberspace!