The power of relationships.
Our Grade 5 team this year has many new members and we are building understanding of each other as teachers. It takes time to build working relationships, but by starting with long conversations and sharing the things that really matter to us we have been able to create a safe space where each member of the team is seen as a co-teacher and core part of the team.
Yes, we took lots of time in the first few days sitting and talking, asking questions and listening. We were NOT cleaning and preparing the Grade 5 space
... (more on that later)...
We invested time into building relationships. We were all on a journey together and we were going to honor the importance of 'knowing' the team by giving those discussions the time they needed.
We have spent the last six weeks getting to know each other in our current roles, even though some us have worked together before we know that while building on existing relationships is great, the new team has formed and is getting stronger every day.
With strong, safe relationships between the teachers it has set a foundation to build strong relationships with our students.
We have 40 students, some have just come to our school and speak a little English, while others have been at the school sine they were 3 or 4 years old; together they make the "Grade 5's 2017'18" we are building a community of learners who are prepared to be brave, take risks and grow their learning together.
Our space for learning is still being formed. The students started with an empty room ... the furniture was outside! They have discussed, planned, negotiated and made decisions. They have agreed and disagreed. They have trialled ideas, some have failed by popular decision and others have been successful.
They are empowered. It is their collaborative working space, they all have needs, wants and preferences.
The key to this journey is the strong relationships we are building, based on trust and communication; with a shared goal of "Being the BEST that WE can BE" everyday in every situation.
This is a journey that I am delighted to be on with a team of students and teachers who are motivated and inspired.