Getting Teachers to Collaborate – Strike Two!

I know, take a deep breath.

Take the long view.

As Tyson Seburnt and I were discussing recently – build it and they will come, right?

But why is it so hard to convince teachers that sharing resources and ideas is in their best interests and will actually make life easier for them?

Epstein Family Photos

I gave a talk to another group of itinerant teachers today. The talk itself went well. We discussed issues regarding teaching reading to deaf and hard of hearing children, vocabulary acquisition and the tricky issue of the relationship with the classroom teacher. The teachers asked questions and shared tales from their work. There was a nice atmosphere.

At the end of my talk I showed them my Hebrew counseling blog. I title my posts there as answers to questions (instead of me repeating myself all the time!). I showed them how one can search by tag to find relevant posts. They expressed some interest in that (the post on using a word cloud caught some people’s attention, I think).

Then I went into my “motivational talk” mode and explained how this blog could serve them as a place to share resources. If they would tell me about a site they found helpful, a book or a strategy that worked well, I would post it. That way they could all benefit from each other’s ideas being in one place. For a resource collection to be truly useful the content must come from the teachers in the field.

Dead silence.

Not even nods.

Sigh…

4 thoughts on “Getting Teachers to Collaborate – Strike Two!”

  1. Naomi, oh, how I identify with your frustrations. Dr. Seuss has a quote, “Don’t be sad that it’s over, smile that it happened.” I can’t compete with Dr. Seuss’ wisdom, but fret over the teachers you can’t change, smile and focus on those who do share and collaborate and it would appear to me that you have created a rich and supportive network. Hugs, A Fan 🙂

  2. Are teachers bred there (as in other places) to be suspicious of those wanting to share because of the asker’s potential laziness (or ‘stealing’)? Do they think that it’s more effort to share than it is to focus on one’s on classes?

    It may be to lead by example continuously. Seeing it in practice may be the best way to (slowly) convince others to participate. I feel that maxim more and more.

  3. Tyson,
    No, no, certainly not being suspicious of sharing.
    I think you are probably right about the example issue, though. If I can get a few people to take the little bit of extra time to send me stuff to be shared, then they might tell others how convinient it was to get ideas off the counseling blog.
    Also, I should have actively passed around a page where they gave me their emails – that’s a pity!
    This school year is winding up – look to next year!
    Naomi

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