Over the past three weeks, I have found myself sitting down to write, and nothing happens. It is like my mind is just not communicating with my fingertips and keyboard. It has been frustrating. Or I have started to write, and then I have hated every single word I type, and I delete the whole thing.
I recently took my frustrations to Twitter. What I found was a community of educators wanting to hear what I had to say regardless of my fears and writing hang-ups. That has lead me to this idea I have said time and time again but have never articulated in writing: "We are better together." I have heard this statement countless times at my church, but I never really thought of it regarding education. The truth behind this statement is so far reaching.
In Our Classrooms:
We are better together in our classrooms when we partner with the families of our students to provide the best educational opportunities possible. In my classroom, my students and I are better together when we build a community of trust. We are better together when they know me, and I have taken the time to understand them.
In Our Buildings:
We are better together when we as educators collaborate to seek the best possible outcomes for all students in our buildings. When we work together to do what is best for students, we are taking into consideration not all students learn the same or work at the same pace, but we work together to find common ground and resources to make every single child successful. When we partner together with administration, support staff, and parents, we develop a positive culture and learning environment where all students feel safe to grow and to learn.
In Our Communities:
We are better together when we take what we are doing in school sites with our communities. When we do this, they can see what we are doing, and we invite them to be part of the educational process.
In Our Profession:
We are better together when we stand as one and advocate for the betterment of our students, our schools, and our state. Together we can join forces to do what we do best: educate others about the issues that matter to our profession. We can inform lawmakers and others of the importance of what we do and how the decisions they make affect us all.
We cannot go at this on our own. We need each other. We need each other for support, love, encouragement, guidance, a swift kick in the rear end, and accountability. As an elective teacher, I am the only choir teacher in my building, and it is so easy for me to end up in lonely island club. However, I need the help and support of others to be successful in my classroom and beyond.
We have uphill battles we are facing. We need each other. Lean in, listen to one another, and love each other fiercely. When we love each other fiercely then we cannot be afraid to call some out when they are doing harm to themselves or the community--but this also means we respect what they have to say.
We are better together, and when we are better together, our students will reap the benefits of the community we have sown together.