I just love teaching! Last week’s session with teachers and teacher candidates from various universities in Canada and the United States reinforced my passion! During the week we gathered 20 people together to learn about the Tribes process and to figure out how it can work in the classrooms of each of the teachers represented in the room. Everyone left feeling ready and confident!
I realized it is not what happens during the workshop that makes such a big difference, but what happens in the weeks and months following. Making connections with each other and inviting teachers to rely on the relationships they develop is the real long-term benefit that is created. It’s what happens once we leave that makes these 3 days special. It is during that reflection period that I want to be available to help my students work through questions, experiment with strategies, and reflect on their practises.
Each situation is different. Each of us faces our own challenges. “What about that one child in my class who just doesn’t want to participate?’ “How can I deal with a Principal who really doesn’t understand what I’m doing?” “My students can be so challenging sometimes.” “What do I say to parents who want to know why their kids are ‘playing’ all day?”
We are meant to be together in this world. I am realizing more and more that successful people are those that seek out help and support from those around them. Productive and growing business organizations are those who work cooperatively and tackle problems and challenging decisions as a group. Collaborative skills strengthen as we practise coming together. And, as is the case with everything we do, the more we practise the better we get at it.
I like the way the members of our group consulted with each other. Many group members exchanged phone numbers. I heard plans being made. They insisted on sharing all of their email addresses. I made promises to follow up. I invited requests for on-going help. They suggest a follow up workshop. And for the first time, I consider the idea.
I am lucky. Many of my students do stay in touch. I am able to support them as they seek out volunteer positions, grapple with challenging course loads and relentless demands from administrators. I can help them deal with the disappointment of not getting a teaching job immediately and coach them through processes where they temporarily settle for informal teaching roles until positions become more numerous.
And I benefit from being with these students. I am inspired each time I gather a group of prospective teachers together. They are so excited to learn and I become so inspired too. They help me realize how much I like work, and even though there are so many other things in this world I want to do, teaching them is definitely one of my biggest joys. And they too, help me transition from one practise to another as I continue with opportunities to work, create and affect some sort of change in our world. Thank you teachers!