Back in the day teachers were master hoarders. They kept great lessons to themselves, self created activities were top secret, and articles written were published with one author and one author only.
Then along came tools like Google, and all of a sudden people were able to easily collaborate together. This meant a huge cultural shift in educational settings. Every educator is faced with the question of “to collaborate or not to collaborate.” It also raises these questions: “What does good collaboration look like?” and “Why would I want to collaborate if what I am doing is working for me?”
When it comes to blogging, I learned that my posts became much stronger when I was open to sharing and collaborating with my colleagues. My preferred method of sharing was through Google Docs. I was fortunate to have some really good writers on my team. People who have a different perspective than mine are invaluable critics of my work. People who are more detailed oriented than me are also invaluable to my work. I like to move quickly and think big and picking things apart just isn’t in my nature. We all have weaknesses even if we don’t realize it. Being open to critique will identify your weaknesses and help make whatever you are creating even better.
Being open to criticism is a refined skill. The things is, once you pause to consider how it could help you produce higher quality work, it becomes essential. I encourage you to find one or two people who are willing to look at your posts before you post. Look for someone who isn’t exactly like you. A little dissonance can be a good thing in a critic. What you don’t want to hear is, “looks good to me”. This is not helpful. With a good critic and collaborator your written work improves and it might even spark a new idea for your next post.
Now that I am working for little ole’ me, I miss having my team around to look over my work. I am so used to collaborating that I am positive that what I am creating now isn’t as good as it used to be because I am missing out on their input. So if you have a couple of people who are game to work with you, take advantage of it and be open to their ideas, and critiques.
I have shared this video several times in the past during training sessions, but it is really beneficial for those of us who have a difficult time working with constructive criticism.
Do you have a favorite method to share and work together? Please leave me a comment on your views of teacher collaboration.