We are all team players, but are you "tribal"? Teaching is an incredible career to be a part of. It is much more effective when we, as educators, pool our resources to better serve our students. There in lies the incredible capabilities of some amazing online communities. Technology has made the world a very cozy place indeed! I can now collaborate with my friends around the globe at the touch of a button....and in many cases, in real time! Amazing! I recently read a post on The Clever Sheep, a blog I follow, which lead me to investigate this whole tribal thing by Seth Godin. While his overall message is aimed more at the business world, The Clever Sheep put a spin on it for educators.
Who isn't tired of the same old issues in education year after year? We claim to want change....yet it never happens. What Seth Godin presents is a relatively simple concept in his book, Tribes By Godin,
Take your small group of committed people and run with it. Take my soap box issue for example. The whole conundrum of always having to teach a mile wide and an inch deep (to cover the curriculum in the allotted amount of time). I am quite certain that I could find 20 people in my own school who would be on board with taking a look at this issue and how we could address it. Now, bring technology into the picture and post this concern to the world via the internet. How many more people with brilliant ideas and numerous experiences, both good and bad, would you bring to the table?
You could take this approach to nearly everything under the sun! I get truly excited when I think about narrowing it down to the nitty gritty everyday battles, such as integrating technology into the classroom when resources are few?! or how about time management for the shortening attention span?! or even, what are effective ways to involve parents and community in the classroom without making more work for yourself?! Can you see where this is going? Have you heard the quote, "many hands makes quick work"? Not sure where I heard it, but it always reminds me of a barn raising in the Amish community. A seemingly impossible task is completed in a relatively short time with the help of many dedicated hands. If we work together, it will happen!
Professional development could become so much more than signing up for the one day course. It could become a way of life. Through online communities, or even Skype, one can tap into valuable discussions and resources on current educational trends or developments that are meaningful to their particular situations.
As educators, we are often reluctant to admit that, um...there are things we are not good at, don't know, or even struggle with. What if you built up a community of educators whose goals were the same as yours? You could all learn together and from each other.
I, for one, am definitely interested in this whole tribe concept because it's all about taking action. Let's not waste valuable time waiting around for someone to finally offer a training you could have used years ago! With the help of a tribe and the beauty of networking through technology...chances are, our answers are a click of a button away! Or, at least a step in the right direction. I am all for learning something new every day! Why not make it something that I can apply in my classroom tomorrow?! Sounds good to me! How about you? Any Tribal educators out there?