Create connections. What does that really mean? “Being connected is about getting to know new people who can stretch your thinking but also sharing knowledge to help make schools stronger than they once were. Being connected is about sharing best practices.
No one person is smarter than the collective ideas and thoughts of everyone together. Individually we may have expertise, but that expertise is made stronger through connecting and sharing with others. (DeWitt, Peter – 15 Reasons Why Educators Should Be Connected, Link: http://corwin-connect.com/2015/03/15-reasons-why-educators-should-be-connected/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email))
I always felt that I made positive connections and shared with others, but I tended to play it safe and work with those in my immediate surroundings. However, in the process of planning for professional development, I made a conscious effort to connect “outside my comfort zone”. What if I partnered with someone I didn’t know that well? What if I branched out and tried something new and different? What if a fifth grade teacher and a high school art teacher had something to share with others? Well, it was worth a try. Instead of joining the colleagues I worked with every day, I chose someone from across the room, someone who was sharing ideas very similar to mine. The minute I sat down with her, I felt like a met my match. She had already sketched out ideas and made a list – just like I had done. Her “wheels” spin as fast as mine do. The more we talked, the more I knew that this new partnership was going to be a “game changer”.
As we have gotten to know each other during the summer, we have found many more similarities than differences. We compliment each other. We work well together. We challenge each other’s thinking. Together, we are an inspirational whirlwind – look at there’s always something brewing.
We are a symbiotic pair. We both benefit from our collaboration and newfound friendship. The power of our thoughts and ideas increases, grows, and develops. I am excited to see where our journey may lead. Thank you Karen, for traveling with me!
Reflecting, sharing, and collaborating are at the core of good teaching and learning. During this year, we hope help each other to tell our stories. As you head into the start of a new year, create some new connections. When sharing thoughts and ideas, make sure you add some new chapters to your story. Look outside your “circle”, connect with someone from across the room, widen your horizons, and remain open to new possibilities. As this new year begins, challenge yourself to try something new, create a new connection. Who knows where it will take you?