The Power of the Collective


Collaboration: working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organisations work together to realize shared goals – for example, an endeavour that is creative in nature  – by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.

It’s late and I’ve spent the weekend writing a couple of guest blogs (one for a fellow tweeter and a series for the National College for Teaching & Leadership, that I haven’t yet finished!), marking books, planning lessons and most of this afternoon and evening planning one to ones for this week as part of my role as one to one coordinator. I have also spent some time this evening finalising details for the Collaborative Scheme of Work meetings taking place this week and next.

I’m not reeling off that list in a “woe is me … look how busy I’ve been” kind of way, but for the last couple of hours I’ve been reflecting about how powerful “we” as teachers can be, and growing exasperated about the short-sightedness of all these changes coming in. I’m not saying that they aren’t needed, in fact some of them are its more to do with how much better it could have been planned and implemented without sending the whole teaching community into a blind panic. I suspect that something at work this week triggered this chain of thought (I’ll post more tomorrow evening when I’m not tired and have had time to formulate my thoughts!).

I’ve been thinking about how many people have registered an interest in putting together this SOW – people from over 100 different schools – this may not sound a lot to some of you but when you consider that it started as a bizarre idea and its just “little ol me” (and Seager of course … oh yes and Fize does a bit too! – even though JustMaths is gaining quite a reputation I am still taken aback when I meet someone who tells me they use our stuff **chuffed to bits grin**) and not some big corporate powerhouse driving this. In fact I have done little to advertise the fact (a couple of tweets, and a blog post or two) and wonder what could be done if I’d really tried to get more involved? Which then led me to wonder why the government or some other body hasn’t done this on a National scale – instead we will end up with SOW’s being developed by people that have been out of the classroom a while and are somewhat out of touch (I know its a generalisation! but lets be honest, in most some of the cases its going to be true). So …  there would be a cost involved in terms of getting 1 maths teacher from every school involved, or even get 1 from each region (maybe local networks each feeding into regional networks, who ultimately feed into a National network), but surely the investment would be worth it .. instead “consultants” everywhere are rubbing their hands together, and indeed some of this is being funded by the taxpayer – in fact ultimately almost everything in state education is funded by us.  I’m also not that naïve that I think you can please all the people, all of the time, but the “buy-in” and the goodwill generated would be invaluable – trust me, getting people involved in future changes before they are imposed means that the implementation of the changes will be smoother.

Anyway … its late and once again, I’m waffling but before I go – to continue on the theme of collaboration I have LOADS of new bread and butter starters waiting on my email for me to upload to the post tomorrow. By “LOADS” I mean there are probably now enough to get us all through to Easter (sorry Emma … you’re going to need more colours!!) . At this rate we could end up with enough for a complete year … now consider the impact that would make if students are practising the “bread and butter” stuff … every week of the year. Wow!!

2014-02-10T01:48:01+00:00 February 10th, 2014|Blog|

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