Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The unspoken hero of education...the sharing of experiences and knowledge

Last night as I was sitting in my doctoral class I was reminded why I thoroughly enjoy the cohort format of educational leadership classes. By no means am I the smartest, most intelligent or most knowledgeable person in my class. To be honest, I would say I am probably closer toward the bottom of the class in terms of my educational experiences and knowledge. As weird as it might sound, I am completely okay with being toward the bottom end of my class...

As soon as my self esteem was able to recover, I began to realize the potential upside of being one of the least experienced and knowledgeable cohort members. By sitting and listening and contributing once and a while, I have been able to gain a deeper and more sound understanding of educational theories and practices. To my advantage, I am surrounded by a very knowledgeable and experienced group of educational leaders, who whether they realize it or not, are pouring information into my brain every time they speak.

Despite being young and somewhat inexperienced, I have however realized the importance of sharing knowledge and information, especially as it pertains to improving the educational experience for every student. Teachers, administrators, central office administrators, parents, and students need to capitalize from the experiences and knowledge of others. Unfortunately as educators we have the tendency to slip into isolation and do things how we feel they should be done. At first this might seem like the best solution when working with people you do not agree with, but this solution could not be further from the best solution.

Just as we can learn from sharing experiences and knowledge, we can also learn from listening to others, especially the others with whom we do not agree. Based off of several different pieces of knowledge and experiences we are better able to assimilate our very own beliefs toward education. Whether it is through group collaboration or Professional Learning Communities, it is essential that we learn from each other and avoid the all too common practice of isolationism.

In my opinion we must not take for granted the very people with whom we work and with whom we learn. The future of education requires that we learn from each other and that we communicate in an effective and efficient manner. Anthony Robbins stated so eloquently, "The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." If I could but change one word the new quote would be, "The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our education." Please share experiences, knowledge, stories, goals, theories, beliefs, and any other piece of information that could lead to the growth of young educators, as well as the betterment of our educational system.