I had to jump on a conference call right after school. Pretty much everyone on the call was more knowledgable than me. This has become my FAVORITE place to be as an educator. I love hanging around really smart educators. They have thought of things that I haven’t even imagined. They know how to do stuff that I don’t and being around them expands my own teaching tool kit.
The 6th habit of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is Synergize. The simplest explanation of this is teamwork, but it is really more than that. Synergy is when you come together as a team, and become more powerful than the sum of your parts. It isn’t just that you work together, but that in working together you multiply your effectiveness beyond the number of people in your group. This is the power of community, and it is what I have found by placing myself in groups of teachers who are innovative and creative.
I started out my career like most teachers, highly nervous that someone was going to figure out that I was a newbie and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I suppose that is how it is for everyone when they just start a new career — you sort of nervously find your way into your position. This anxiety that you are actually an imposter can lead you to hunker down, and never reveal the things you feel unsure about.
Now days, you can find me slouched against the doorway of another teacher’s classroom saying, “Lookit, I can’t figure this thing out. You got a handle on it. Gimme everything you know.” There is a lot of power in a band of people coming together to figure the best way to address challenges that come their way. I want to be on the team that is working together to figure things out. The good news is that I have the tremendous fortune of working on a team that does just that. We aren’t perfect, but we are perfectly committed to doing our best and getting better everyday.
The best part is that all this collaboration doesn’t just benefit me, and in fact, it isn’t for me at all. Working together in community like we have been leads to a better experience for our students. And I just want to go on record as saying that if you live near me, my little school is a hidden gem. We’ve got some the most amazing, hard-working teachers you will ever know, and our kids are not only studying hard, but developing amazing life-long habits that will serve them well into the future. I’m telling you, if you are in education, you wish you were part of our team.
Keep moving forward,