Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Individuals and Teams

Usually I don't get that much out of professional development days, but this morning we heard a speaker who made me think, both about education and about life.

Consider these two pictures:

His point was that, as educators, we often are like marathon runners.  We're working hard and we're doing our best, but my success is not dependent on anyone else's success nor my failure dependent on anyone else's failure.  Another's success is not dependent on my success, nor their failure dependent on my failure.

Yet, in his opinion (and the opinion of many distinguished educators and educational researchers), we should be more like the members of a crew team.  What each individual does matter to the success of the team.  My failures matters and affects more than just me.  Research shows that students achieve more when teachers are working collaboratively as a team, instead of closing the doors to our classrooms and operating as a one-person show. 

I can't help but agree.  I know our department would truly benefit from us working as a team, since each level of Spanish directly affects the next level.

But as I've been marinating (yes, marinating) on this thought all day, I realized, isn't this true for life too, especially with what I believe?

I don't think we're meant to go it alone, but rather to live and grow in community.  Running the marathon is great, and we're working hard, but maybe we're not working the best way.  Maybe we're created to row together, to work as a team. 

What are your thoughts?  I'd love to hear them!


  1. Yes, I agree- we were meant to do life together. That is one thing Lao people have got right. They really know how to do community in a way that we will never fully know or understand as Americans... but I am super blessed by their example!!

  2. I know my sister, who teaches middle school, would agree that it is better to work as a team when teaching. I watched my mom do it for several years and it's amazing what teachers can accomplish when they work together towards the same goal. It benefits both the students and the teachers. :)

    Thanks for stopping by today!

  3. Thanks for stopping by....for sure your first trave;ling adventure was much bigger then Maya's...wow, your mom must have been very brave to let you go off like that! Maya will be working at a Christian camp, doing most of the stuff that she does here, at the camps that she's been working at for the last 4 months...maintenance, kitchen and dining duty...she enjoys it!

  4. I'm a marathon runner (literally), but you are right, as life, I think it's meant to be more of a crew team. Loved the analogy!

  5. Great thoughts! I could never do a marathon. My BIL runs marathons and they don't sound fun at all. Even the training sounds a little lonely at times. Anyhow, we do need others to help us along in the journey.

  6. Thanks so much for stopping by and I so enjoyed your entry. My daughter and DIL are both educators and I know they would agree with your entry too. Everyone pulling together definitely makes more sense than "going it alone."

    As to the chili.......I use the McCormicks package and add a can of mild Rotel Tomatoes and Chilis to it and we love it. Nothing hard about it but it is so good!

    Happy week-end!

  7. Together is always better. I am a much better teacher because of the collaboration I have with my team. It sure works in music, anyway. But we don't speak spanish, so I don't know about your team... :)


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