Transparency Can Be Good For You–Or Me

Caution:  Brain Dump Ahead

Today at RCWP’s Tech Matters I presented myself as a case study on the theme of collaboration. Aside from sharing a few tools I use to stay connected/networked, like Classroom 2.0 and my Google Reader, I told two stories about my collaborative efforts. One is a story of success with student collaboration, and the second story is an example of how really NOT to attempt collaborative projects with colleagues.

So today my brain keeps coming back to how vulnerable it can be to make my teaching practice transparent to even a small chunk of the world beyond my classroom.  I have a reasonable amount of practice at this sort of presenting/sharing, whether it is in front of a supportive audience like RCWP or my district Board of Ed, which not quite so demonstrably affirming. Still, I get scared to lay out my practice, the thinking and choices that expose me to…other people’s judgements! AAAHHH! Run away!

I have never regretted being transparent about my teaching practice, because I always learn from these experiences. It forces me to reflect in new ways on my work and choices, which isn’t my natural desire on a daily basis. But every time it is frightening, albeit with the knowledge that I’ll be better off at the end of a presentation or blog entry or conversation in the teachers lounge.

Teachers in my district don’t much do the sharing or transparency thing.  The vast majority, anyway, are not sharing beyond their teaching pals.  Why?  Probably, I’m theorizing, because they are afraid of being judged and found wanting.  I can relate to that.  And yet, if we want to be afforded respect as professionals, I don’t think we can do that without transparent practices that show the world that we are…respectable professionals.  The paper certificates and degrees just aren’t enough.

What would happen if we opened our practice to the world, or even each other?  Could my colleagues see more than brown-nosing or egoism/self-promotion?  What could we accomplish together, open to one another and open to possibilities for collaboration?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Collabowho? | Red Cedar Writing Project

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