Share and Share Alike

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Sharing seems to be a common thread through my Master’s degree. The concept of sharing has dogged my every class in some fashion, whether it is sharing content or sharing ideas. It seems “sharing” is something a lot of teachers struggle with.

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I think the biggest personal barrier to my sharing with others is the concept of not being good enough to share. As I indicated in a previous post, teachers, in my experience, have an inferiority complex when it comes to their own work. Teachers are constantly comparing themselves to each other and how much better another teacher is doing something compared to what they’re doing now.

As a teacher, I’m always on the lookout for the next cool thing, but I can also see how some teachers like what they do because they’ve done it for  so long that to do something else would be very uncomfortable. So they don’t seek out new ideas or lessons. It seems that teaching is a profession of extremes: you either share or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be very much middle ground that way.

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As Dean Shareski says, I think teachers have an obligation to share ideas and content because teaching can be such a collaborative profession, if you let it. If there’s no sense of collegiality fostered, it is too easy to shut your door and do your own thing for the next 40 years. It’s contingent on teachers to share with each other and to reach out to others, without waiting to be approached first.

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I think in order to create a culture where sharing is encouraged, there has to be a value placed on it, from above. If sharing amongst teachers is considered a priority, if creating things collaborative becomes paramount, there will be a corresponding increase in sharing with teachers. But, right now, teachers are strapped for time and are limited on resources, mentally, physically, and time-wise. Teachers are stretched thin. Sharing becomes a back burner issue when just getting through the day and planning a lesson at a time is life. (I find this especially true with new preps — I have all new preps this semester and have never felt so like a first-year teacher again!)

If teaching were to have an oath, like the Hippocratic one, I think the first commandment would be: First, share and share reserving judgment.

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4 thoughts on “Share and Share Alike

  1. Love your post Kelsie and I completely agree. Teaching and sharing go hand in hand and should be mandatory, like an oath! I’ve ran into teachers that share everything and then those that will hardly share anything. It’s a very interesting dynamic. How do you think we could implement more of a sharing dynamic and perhaps how do we, not make it mandatory, but encouraged?

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  2. When I began teaching in the 1950’s it was a closed door world. No one shared because of the type of evaluations that were done then… you didn’t want anyone to have ‘your’ ideasl I agree 100% that sharing among teachers is just, if not more, than sharing with among students. Your students should see you sharing as a model. Have really loved reading our blog and am sure I will visit it again. Later in life I taught teachers how to use technology with students as users as well as teachers as user. Our profession has grown. Here in the US we are having a hard time and seem to moving backwards in some ways. I think that is one of the reasons I so enjoyed your blog. It leaves me with renewed hope.
    Marianne

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Sharing seems to be a sea change — it’s happening, but very slowly. I think the internet has fundamentally shifted the way we teach and the way we access information. Hopefully it’s changed us for the better and made us more knowledgeable, adaptable teachers!

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