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Sunday, May 3, 2020

JAMES BOUTIN: Working More Collaboratively in the Wake of COVID-19

Working More Collaboratively in the Wake of COVID-19


I was encouraged yesterday by a few tweets I saw from some education leaders who wondered aloud how various stakeholders in public schools might come to work more collaboratively in the wake of COVID-19. What if we could find ways to get outside of our us vs. them mentality when it comes to the divisions that often exist between classified, certificated and administrative staff; the union and district administration; community members and schools; or even individual schools and the district. Is there some way we could all let go of long-held disputes and just work together to serve young people? What would that be like? How could we achieve it?

I greatly appreciated the questioning because it really got me thinking. What WOULD that be like? Why DOES working in public education feel adversarial so often? I mean, when I began teaching, I imagined most education professionals would probably get along pretty well. After all, we all chose this work for presumably similar reasons. But when I got into the classroom, and I began taking an interest in decisions being made that affected the schools, communities, and classrooms I worked in; I began to learn about the touchy politics related to school budgeting, boundary making, and class size. I discovered that even educators garrison themselves into opposing camps.

So, is there a way we can do things differently in the wake of COVID-19? I love the question. Any chance I'm offered to radically rethink the way we do things - I'll take it. So let's get to work. It seems to me that the first place we're going to have to start is by asking what's CONTINUE  READING: Working More Collaboratively in the Wake of COVID-19