“Children are shrewd judges of character; they know whether a teacher is authentic, and they respond accordingly” -Laura Colker
While there are many types of relationships built with families, community and children in education, another relationship that is just as important is the relationship built amongst teachers in and outside of the classroom.
There is a shift occurring in education. A classroom teacher is not alone anymore or should not feel alone as there is a larger connected professional community of educators and leaders in the field. Establishing a strong healthy reciprocal learning community where teachers reach out locally and globally does several things: it supports everyone involved from novice teachers to seasoned ones. A reciprocal exchange of ideas occur and connection creates a local and global community of educators.
Learning goes beyond the walls of a classroom. It is impossible to know everything, education is always changing and so are we. We are always in a process of becoming. If we stay the same with the same outlooks then we become like a pool of stagnant water and stagnant water collects flies and mosquitos. Think like an ocean: waves moving, not a still pond.
A machine that moves, never gets rusty (Turkish proverb)
In Early Ed we have co-teaching teams. Relationships should be and do several things:
- Healthy and strong
- Continues learning
- Open, honest and reciprocal
- Non judgmental
- Supportive not co-dependant
How do we grow? How do we become authentic? By learning from each other, with each other and pushing each other to a higher level. By knowing what you stand for and why. It is almost like making the muscles that we never knew existed move and get stronger. There is no single way to do something or teach something and there is nothing more dangerous for an educator than hitting the glass ceiling or becoming complacent.
Smart people surround themselves with people who are smarter than themselves. Progressive and positive partnerships support personal and professional growth. Educators must be in a cycle of learning.
There is no other way of growing and providing the best learning experience for the children. Education is evolving and we need to be on that train going towards the direction where there is more light and better ways to have an impact on generations to come. It is possible to do so if we are open with one another and take constructive criticism rather than making it personal. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone has something to learn. There is no teaching without learning.