There seems to be a strong pull on teachers to think that they are lone wolves. It seems to me that we have an archaic idea that we need to go it alone, forge our own path. Teachers won’t say it, but I have seen many act as though asking for help is a sign of weakness.
Perhaps this is left over from the one-room schoolhouse days. Maybe this is simply how the educational culture has evolved in some schools.
I know that I have personally been pulled into this trap at different parts of my career. It was a mix of not wanting to bother others and what I thought would be expedient. I thought it would just be easier and faster to do things myself.
In my experience, it is almost always better to work together. This applies equally to solving problems as it does to general everyday instruction. In the words of one of my favourite artists, Jack Johnson, it is Better Together.
I know it is not always easier, but it is my experience that it is almost always better. More ideas, more support, better end result, less work.
Of course, the hard part can be navigating the personal relationships that are involved. This can be difficult, but the results are worth it.
Happily, this trend is slowly changing. With more possibilities of connecting digitally, more research coming out on the benefits of working together in collaboration, with new ways to organize professional development, we are working together more.
The next time you are thinking of forging ahead by yourself, take a minute. Remember that we are Better Together.