Google+ Badge

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Adversarial or Collaborative?

Creating wonderful teaching/learning environments does not have to be adversarial, instead there's plenty of potential for positive collaborative work.

Adversity persists when communication is not forthcoming, rules are confusing, expectations unclear, resources missing, and a spirit of exclusion rather than inclusion exists. Issues like this create frustration.

On the other hand, collaboration reigns when questions are answered, information shared, rules explicit, expectations clear, and decisions, protocols, and potential inclusive.

Many of us, when met with challenge, may react in adversarial ways since we may sense a lack of voice, respect, inclusion, and care. We may wonder with frustration, "Why is this happening?"

Yet, when we work with our allies to right the teaching/learning path by streamlining and making transparent decisions, development, protocols, policies, expectations, and support in respectful, inclusive ways, we will develop greater, more positive collaborative teaching/learning environments, the kinds of systems that model the behavior and organization we hope our students will lead and be apart of in their future.

So, how do we make this happen.

Welcome Questions and Ideas
First, welcome questions and ideas. Ask what do you think, what do you need, and how can we do this better? Listen to the responses and seek ways to develop our organizations together with strength and promise.

Be Clear and Respectful
Next, be clear and respectful. You have a right to ask questions and voice your concerns. If your speak is met with disrespect, seek your allies for support. The research is clear that disrespectful teaching/learning environments at any level do not create an environment for success and development.

Establish Idea Systems
Also, establish idea systems, systems that invite voice from all employees. Figure out ways to make people's ideas, concerns, and experiences transparent and open so there's not lots of lost time, effort, or energy due to log jams with regard to communication. Good communication systems will support a stream of positive idea share which will, in turn, foster more proactive growth and development within an organization.

Prioritize in Inclusive Ways
Further, figure out ways to prioritize with inclusivity--rather than one group making all the decisions, open up the decision process to many in realistic, regular ways--ways that people can truly interact with.

There's no need for adversity that severs relationships in education since we are all there for one important reason, to teach children well. Yet, when systems are not working well, frustration and miscommunication occurs and that can lead to adversity.

Do what you can to promote collaboration in positive, proactive ways. I write this as much for myself as for others as the charge is not simple, but nevertheless, it's integral with regard to teaching children well.