Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Collaboration as a workshop leader

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I have been having so much fun lately. Since I've come to know about the inquiry workshop I have to conduct in a certain part of India, my mind has been abuzz. I have absolutely no idea about the history and culture of the place and I knew my challenge was to come up with a theme that would engage my workshop participants.

And so I turned to my best sources of inspiration: my colleagues and of course my PLN. I know of many educators who prefer to create a workshop presentation all by themselves for reasons unknown to me. But what that tells me about them is that they are just not interested in learning from others and  feel that they alone can come up with interesting ideas. Isn't that just sad!

I remember sending a tweet to Edna Sackson ( sitting far away in Australia) and pat came a reply with loads of ideas, prompts and videos I could use. I picked up a few more from Cristina Milo's pinterest boards. My colleagues, at the Aga Khan Academy, who have  such a vast knowledge of Indian culture, came up with some unique and absolutely brilliant ideas that got me so excited, all I could think of was my inquiry workshop!

Collaboration in different situations sounds and feels different every time. I have never felt this alive when I meet with colleagues at our ritual meeting times, with prior agendas mailed to us. And that got me thinking. What's missing? What can I do to change that? What if ( and luckily enough I don't) your colleagues do not have the disposition to collaborate! What do you do then?

If I were to set a task for a student (who does not enjoy collaboration , or has a quiet disposition), and ask him to use other students as a resource, would that encourage collaboration, and therefore promote genuine inquiry? for thought.

The question that I am going to reflect upon now is, why was collaboration so powerful during this instance. Was it because I had something at stake and genuinely needed help from others?

 Carpe diem!

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