Importance of Collaboration
When schools and colleges are faced with a crisis, like the Covid-19 pandemic, it highlights the importance of effective collaboration for helping an organisation and its staff cope with the challenges that they are faced with.
Anxiety is caused by pressure. Anxious staff have a tendency to default to be more risk-averse, resulting in them being less likely to seek out differing perspectives. They find it safer, as they have more control, to go-it-alone, in isolation, focusing on self-preservation.They tend to default back on actions and solutions that have worked in the past. To do the same thing but attempt to get a different outcome. For some, collaboration is something else to add to the ‘to do’ list of jobs, as it comes with extra workload. The most common challenge of effective collaboration is a lack of time to focus on working together. Many teachers feel like there are not enough hours in the school day.
Developing a culture of collaboration, in particular collaborative professional development impacts positively on teachers well being. Teachers don’t feel alone. They become more enthusiastic as their confidence and belief increases. They become more responsive to guidance and advice, and show a greater commitment to change their practice and try new ideas. Successful collaboration is based around a culture of trust and positive relationships, where teachers feel empowered, with relevant content,, and not just a ‘tick box’ task to complete then move on. Collaboration is all about building relationships and taking the time to get to know your colleagues and relate to them on a personal level. Strong collaborative cultures develop over time and require staff effort and commitment to the development of the process.
Technology plays a key role in teacher collaboration. Social media, online storage and Video technology easily allows the sharing of thoughts, ideas and information..
To cope and self-improve, staff need to work with, learn from, and support one another to develop solutions to the challenges they are facing. It takes time and effort to collaborate but undeniably the rewards are great.
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