Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Collegial Respect

As teachers, we bring a myriad of experiences, beliefs, and talents to the teaching/learning community.

It is imperative that we're cognizant and respectful of each other's values, strengths, challenges, needs, and personal commitments.

While one teacher may be passionate or driven in one academic area, another teacher may be invested in a different area of school life. The teaching/learning community benefits from our diverse passions and investments.

One reason I blog is because it would be too much to share this inquiry with any one colleague--I blog to share and understand education well. My posts are here for the taking, if interested, but no one has to read what I write. I blog mainly to better my craft and detail the focus. At school, I try to keep my share more directed towards timely matters and team needs.

Collegial respect profits from good structure in schools, and that good structure includes time for teacher breaks and planning during the day, time for collaboration, and time to develop our craft with reading, research, and other learning opportunities. A too rushed and too demanding environment challenges collegial respect.

Collegial respect also profits from apt communication--systems of share that give everyone a voice and help everyone on the team know what's going on.

Further, it's important to be cognizant of each other's personal commitments too. For example, it can be grueling to teach and be a caretaker of very young children or elderly parents. The "care taking" hours at school and home create a very challenging situation and when that's the case, and we need to be mindful of those teachers' situations. There are also times when teachers experience challenges related to health, relationships, or conflict that impact their work and effort. There are other times though when a teacher may have double time and effort for the job, and at times like this, those teachers may be able to do more than what's typically required.

As educators, we have to be mindful of each other's responsibilities and needs. Our teaching/learning communities benefit from collegial respect, and it is the sum of the parts that matter--the overall teaching/learning we're able to provide for the children we serve each day.