Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Who's Smarter?

At times professionals can battle with the underlying question, Who's smarter?" When in truth, the answer is "Together we're smarter." It's rare that one perspective, skill set, and knowledge beats another unless you are talking about something very specific, but if you're working on initiatives, the reality is that we do better when we collaborate and work together.

Setting up competitive systems of work and effort undermine the potential that positive collaboration holds in schools. That's why I'd rather see schools rated than teachers with the foundation question being, "How does this school synthesize its resources to best teach children?"

We all know that no one style, skill level, or experience speaks to all children. We know that it truly does "take a village" to teach well and run a school. There's no way that anyone of us can be all things, but together we can be truly magnificent if our collaboration is respected and nurtured with time, structure, and support.

Pitting teachers against each other with evaluations and students' scores reduces the potential of empowering collaboration, and that's a loss for children.

So moving forward in education, let's look deeply at schools and school systems. Who is doing well based on their students and their context? Don't compare school-to-school and look for sameness because contexts are different and needs differ too. But, instead, figure out what the holistic success factors are, and then rate a school based on that. And if a school doesn't live up to its expectations, then help that school out rather than ridicule the organization.

Who's smarter?

We all are when we work together. This is a good challenge to face.