Monday, December 03, 2012

When Collaboration Doesn't Work

Recently what I thought would be a quick, collaborative effort turned into a cancelled endeavor.  Sometimes that happens, but in this case the loss of the event is the loss of a positive potential for students.  So how can I avert this situation in the future.

At first the event was conveyed via email and there was little to no response.  At that point, I should have made time for thoughtful face-to-face communication.  Minimal support via email demonstrated that there were more questions and conversation necessary related to the topic.

Then, at the face-to-face meetings, we should have discussed the endeavor.  Instead, I just assumed we shared a similar point of view related to the event, but in hindsight as staffs and schools change, we can't assume that all will be on the same page with regard to traditional events and long held practices.  An open conversation would have created common understanding and possibly new ideas for a long-held practice.

Finally, time got in the way.  If we deem efforts important in a school environment, we have to make time for thoughtful, collaborative planning and execution.  We can't add significant new endeavor and keep all of the old.  Instead we have to carefully analyze the time available and implement those activities and events that best impact children's optimal education.

Collaboration won't always work. Yet, when it doesn't work, and if that collaboration is important to children's learning success, then we have to identify the factors that hindered the effort and move forward with greater thought and care.