Much of Chapter One in Lead Like A Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf (2017) resonates with me. I would like to think that my passion for children and my contribution towards providing the very best opportunities for the children in our school, shines through on a daily basis. (I hope it does!). Like Burgess and Houf,(#LeadLAP)I am passionate about collaboration. I believe that collaboration allows us the opportunity to be "stronger and better collectively than we are individually" (#LeadLAP pg 5). I have seen evidence of this in the three schools that I have worked in where collaboration has been implemented. I am convinced that teachers who collaborate; who plan together, work together with shared children in a shared space, are better together than they are as individual teachers in a single cell class.
Collaborative planning is distinctly different from distributed planning (You do maths and I'll do reading) and can have powerful benefits for the students. Two (or three or four... heads are better than one). One of the benefits of collaborative teaching that staff at our school have identified is proximity teaching, where teachers in the same space can see and hear the other teachers working with students. This is ongoing professional development on a daily basis for all concerned. Working closely with other adults also makes us challenge our own thinking and that of others. The children have indicated that they love the flexibility of collaboration; the ability to choose where they work and with whom they work. They also love the fact that they have input into their learning from more adults.
One of the educationalists that I follow is George Couros author of The Innovator's Mindset. I also follow him on twitter, participated in his recent IMMOOC and I follow his weekly blog post. There is always something to reflect on or be challenged by. He also introduces me to the thinking of other respected educationalists. In a recent post of his, The Education Bat Signal, https://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/7550, he talks about the opportunities that now exist for teachers; " It would be crazy to not take advantage of learning from the wisdom and experience of others in the same profession." As a leader in a school where collaboration is the new normal, I love the opportunity to be part of establishing this new culture where the child is at the centre in an even more authentic way than in the past.