Mar 29, 2012 11:12:32 AM - Marie O'Sullivan
In my first teacher training placement, I watched other teachers, was allowed to raid their filing cabinets for resources, and more or less copied what they did.
In my second placement, in a different, less well-resourced school, I drew on my first experience and learned to adapt and be more creative with my planning and teaching.
And then one day, I was being observed by a mentor. During the feedback, she said “I really liked the activity you used to start the lesson – could I have a copy to use with my class tomorrow?”
I suddenly became extremely self-conscious – that silly little worksheet? Surely not?
But yes, the person responsible for guiding me through my teaching practice was serious – she wanted to use something I had created with one of her classes! She also shared it with a colleague who promptly made a French version for his group! Mortified!
So what was the problem? Why was I so embarrassed that my idea was being shared?
As teachers we are constantly being ‘encouraged’ (you may prefer to use a different word!) to improve our practice, to innovate in the classroom, to reach targets. And under those circumstances, it’s easy to end up thinking that we’re just not quite good enough, and so why would anything we produce be worth bothering with?
But if we’re all working individually, creating resources from scratch on our own, where’s the sense in that?
So that’s why I’m of the opinion that we shouldn’t be too shy to share. Your idea doesn’t have to be intricate or spectacular. You just need to know that it works! If it works with your pupils, then chances are it will work for other teachers too. It will save them time, and bring a new stimulus to their teaching.
Think how grateful you are when you come across an idea which someone has shared freely. Return the favour – go on – don’t be shy!