Why Develop, Collaborate, & Lead?
The foundation of Teacher Collaborate is providing opportunities and resources to help teachers and their supporters to develop, collaborate, and lead. I believe that being life-long learners is an inherent characteristic of most teachers. If not intrinsic to teaching, learning and developing becomes necessary in meeting diverse student populations in an ever-changing society.
Development and learning can become a challenging task as demands on teachers’ time continue to increase. Through Teacher Collaborate, the goal is to engage teachers and provide resources that are easily accessible. With resources, such as the “Research Renderings” provided by Tales from the Classroom (www.talesfromtheclassroom.com), teachers can maintain their pursuit of life-long learning and stay up to date on current research in a timely manner, therefore positively impacting all of our students!
Throughout my own years of education and teaching, one thing stands out above everything: relationships. I remember the teachers and professors that got to know me and supported my development beyond grades in their courses. Since I started teaching, it has been relationships with colleagues and professors that have both encouraged and fostered collaboration and personal and professional growth. Without collaborative relationships, we are not our full, social selves and our work with students is impacted. With social media and the internet, we have the opportunity to build collaborative relationships and networks that expand past the walls of our school buildings into our communities and across our country or even the world!
Collaboration is about not going it alone. Our networks have the potential to allow for an influx of ideas and different perspectives. These relationships can challenge us to be better, support us as we strive to make changes necessary for improvement, and celebrate our successes and accomplishments. In a nutshell, collaboration is the key to doing better together, whether that is with the colleague next door, on the other side of the world, or somewhere in between!
Finally, all teachers are leaders. Whether we are leading students in our classroom, interacting with colleagues, or advocating for what is best for our students, we are leaders! Leadership does not require a certain title, certification, or degree. Although there are many different styles and ways to lead, leadership requires us to stand on what we know to be best practice and advocating for meeting the needs of all students.
Developing and collaborating will help us to know better. We then must act and do better. Our actions (or inaction in some situations) will reveal our beliefs and commitment to our students. We must capitalize on what we learn to lead others in becoming the teachers and advocates for education that all students need! I hope you continue to follow Teacher Collaborate (www.teachercollaborate.com) and interact with the resources to Develop, Collaborate, and Lead for our students!