Is independence killing community?

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 Some rights reserved by JameEz Photogr

I led a PD yesterday on inquiry. When I’m working with a new group of people I usually start off by asking, do you know who this man is?

glenmills11

Usually the answer is no.  They figure he has something to do with track.  The answer is Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach.  I start off this way because I want people to see you don’t have to be the best to teach the best. You have to be a good coach, you have to teach well, you have to want the best for someone else.

I ended off this particular PD with the idea “Do you want to be the best teacher or do you want to have the best learners?”

With teachers promoting themselves or their style (myself included) I wonder how that effects students? Like how does my being a Google Certified Educator benefit my students (other than having some useful skills, does that actual designation mean anything)? How does me collecting badges help my students? When I focus on myself, how does that effect the community?

If we believe that knowing is situationally constructed and socially constructed where is there value outside of a community?

I fully understand that people join these communities (Google Certified Educator, etc.) For reasons that might be different, they may want to join a passionate community to push the boundaries of what we can do. I’m just not convinced everyone joins for communal reasons.

When I relate this to my environmental thinking, it seems like very often we are selfish (surprise right) and that leads to environmental instability and change. Because we take what we want without thinking too much about how that effects the larger community (human or otherwise).

This week has been just focused on these thoughts. What do I implicitly and explicitly teach about independence and community and how can I focus on making my learners more community oriented. I think I’d rather work with someone for them to be the best rather than being the best myself.

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