Being a Team Player
We have all heard it said, "There is no I in team." Football, basketball, soccer, and hockey are just a few sports that you simply can't play alone. Even "solo" sports have more than just one person involved. Most people involved in solo sports have a coach. Similarly, the teaching profession highlights the need for teamwork. Though many teachers aspire to change the world, grade all the papers, come up with all the ideas, plan all the field trips, and fund all the supplies on their own, these tasks are simply impossible.
Teachers often have this complex that the entire future and next generation depends on us alone as a teacher. We mistakenly assume that the other teachers are out to get us instead of out to help the team succeed. When it comes down to it, teachers teach to better the next generation, to send our students farther than we can go, to kindle a deep thirst to learn in their mind, and to instill deep love for others in their heart. Teaching with that goal in mind, a good teacher realizes that not one person can achieve this goal on their own.
A team of teachers can be a strong support system, but it can also be a "survival of the fittest" drama. The teaching profession has become a "solo" sport in the sense that student testing reflects the teacher's ability rather than the individual child. Teachers stress and strive to ensure their students receive the highest markings on standardized testing. All the while, the individual student is being left out and the teacher's greatest asset, her fellow teachers, is contorted to appear as her greatest enemy. A shining, liberating moment occurs when a teacher realizes that one of his or her single, greatest resource is that of other teachers.
Teachers need someone to confide in who can actually empathize with what they are going through. Every teacher has a toolbox of resources that we have gained through the years. This toolbox can be shared, improved on, revised, and adjusted to fit the needs of our individual classroom. However, the skeleton idea or the base line of the specific resource is already available! As teachers, it's important to try and work smarter instead of harder or, as they say, not to reinvent the wheel. Teaching can be an extremely discouraging career. Teachers only hurt themselves more when they ostracize themselves from the team of educators across the country. Teachers often think that other teachers would judge or disapprove of their teaching style or even try to run the classroom. Though this scenario may occur, the majority of teachers support and encourage because they know the difficulty that accompanies teaching.
A teaching team of mutual trust can completely revolutionize the education system of today. It's not about the perfect classroom or the testing, but about a group effort to raise a generation better than ourselves. It's about working together to form a better future for those we love, to send our existence farther than we can imagine because our investment in an ideal bigger than ourselves. Teaching is a Team and there is no I in that team.