Knowledge creation and sharing plays an important role in a healthy educational organization. I have a very difficult class this year. I am also new to teaching first grade. I find myself pulling knowledge from anyone willing to share it just to get through each day in my classroom. I have found this statement by Chaundry and Sivakamasundari (2004) to resonate with me. “By sharing their knowledge, teachers gain more than they lose. Sharing knowledge is a synergistic process – we get more out than they put in. When teachers share an idea or a way of doing things with another teacher – then just the act of putting their idea into words or writing will help them shape and improve that idea. If they get into dialogue with the other person, then they would benefit from their knowledge, from their unique insights and improve their ideas further.” I have been exchanging ideas with a fellow teacher for the last few weeks. She also has a difficult class this year and we talk multiples times a day. I have found that when I share my ideas with her, I think of ways I can improve on my own ideas. It has been incredibly helpful for me. Fullan (2001) wrote, “Establishing knowledge sharing practices is as much a route to creating collaborative cultures as it is a product of the latter. This means that the organization must frame the giving and receiving of knowledge as a responsibility and must reinforce such sharing through incentives and opportunities to engage in it.”
I have found that on my worst days, I seek out the four kindergarten teachers I worked with last year and get ideas from them, as well. I think it is because I know they will give me strategies that I can try if I would like. My first year of teaching was last year and they all mentored me. I often felt like I was doing things wrong or I should be doing things differently. There was weeks many days that I did not feel like I was being successful. They would talk with me and give me resources and manipulatives. They let me experiment and try things on my own, but they were always available help me get back up if I fell. I also wrote reflections in my lesson plans and sometimes made a vlog of my day. Hargreaves (2003) wrote, “Characteristics of knowledge-creating schools include a high volume of internal debate and professional networking, regular opportunities for reflection, enquiry and dialogue, and a culture of ‘no blame’ experimentation and challenge.” I found another quote that I found meaningful to me, personally and professionally. I value reflection. I find it to be one of the most valuable tools in making me a better teacher. “Collaboration in itself is not necessarily a virtuous pursuit – other than for its value in creating social cohesion. Collaboration that involves reflection, dialogue and discourse built around information; which leads to the creation of institutionally relevant knowledge; and which subsequently leads to improvement and planned intervention designs is a potent school development and professional learning activity” (Jackson, 2002).
Chaudhry, A., & Sivakamasundari, B. (2004). Perceptions of Teachers about Knowledge Sharing in Schools. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from Idea Group Publishing: http://www.irma-international.org/viewtitle/32334/
Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hargreaves, D. H. (2003). The Knowledge-creating School. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from National College for School Leadership: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.131.8905&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Jackson, D. (2002). The Creation Of Knowledge Networks: Collaborative Enquiry for School and System Improvement . Retrieved November 15, 2015, from National College for School Leadership: http://innovationunit.org/sites/default/files/Creation%20of%20knowledge%20networks.pdf