My friend Sarah Kurtz McKinnon and I just wrote a book together! Not The Way You Have Always Done It: A Book of Camp Tips and Tricks. It took us only 8 months. We have known each other for less than a year. Sarah is beginning her career in the professional speaking and camp consulting business, but she is taking the industry by storm. One of the characteristics I like about her the most is her “let’s just go for it” mentality.
I have no idea how you learn or how your creative process works, but I know that mine is greatly enhanced when I work with other people. In the education world, the term collaboration is thrown around like dandelion seed tufts on a windy day in the spring. People use it far to often, but I also think people take it for granted as well. The ability to work with other colleagues can be a tremendous opportunity to help us become our best creative selves. If we let that happen.
Far too often in education, particularly a the upper levels, we are more and more isolated and we are off teaching in our own world. If we get caught up in that too much, it will definitely paralyze and destroy our ability to be creative. Just to have the chance to have someone with another set of eyes and a whole other perspective and paradigm approach the same issue will open us up to new worlds. It helps us to grow and see an approach that might be totally different from ours, but might just completely enhance it!
Here our 4 questions to focus on when collaborating with colleagues about things…
- How does everyone in the group think we should approach this issue?
- What are we missing or not including in our problem solving of this issue?
- What is the final outcome we all want to come to as we go through our problem solving?
- If we go with solution “X”, what are some of the best and worst outcomes that could happen and are we ready to deal with those?
Get out of yourself and work with other colleagues. You’ll be shocked at what you can accomplish!