What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?
It was interesting to read Jule’s blog where she stated that she looks to veteran teachers and don’t want to share. I know that I made a sarcastic comment (I really hope people realized it was meant to be sarcastic!) in our Twitter session about if we share knowledge, we won’t be great any more! I told her I would gladly share knowledge with her. Unfortunately she is elementary and I am secondary. It made me wonder if there are really veteran teachers not willing to share. Why not? I told her that I want to share, but I get the impression that people don’t want to listen. I don’t know what is worse, people that want knowledge and don’t get it, or people that want to share and those around them don’t care.
For example, I learned a great method for factoring trinomials in algebra. Years ago, I struggled with teaching this seemingly difficult task to students. The only method the text offered is “guess and check” and it literally sucks. Students struggled and didn’t like it. Who wants to guess and check until something works because it can take up to 5-6 tries?! Well, I searched online and found an alternative method. I tried it out on students, and it worked! The students I taught it to didn’t love it, but it was a method that didn’t rely on the guess and check method and they weren’t frustrated. I tried to share with my colleagues and although they appreciated my new method, they didn’t want to teach it to their students! By the way this method of factoring is called “Tic-Tac-Toe Factoring”. Not my invention, but something I found that someone decided to share online. That is awesome. Gone are the days that teachers should feel isolated because there were no computers and internet in the 80’s and early 90s, therefore no sharing as easily as it is now.
I also resonated with Tristan’s blog, especially her comment “Save a lot of time by not reinventing the wheel”. I don’t want to appear lazy, but in education, teachers have invented infinitely many things such as lesson, ideas, methods, and activities. A teacher should be able to research these things if they wanted and utilize them. My mantra is to not reinvent the wheel! I am faced with this dilemma now because I am teaching a new class next school year, computer tech. I want to focus on programming and I’m trying to do some research on what others have done. There are so many options and pathways that I need start focusing on what specifically to do. It’s great that others are willing to share. There is almost too much information! I need to research and prioritize what is important and what is “fluff”. Wish me luck!