Bringing together groups of educators is one of my favorite things to do. At My Learning Springboard, we’re extremely fortunate to have talented educators and specialists from nursery through graduate school working in tandem. Because of our families’ unique needs, we value having a diverse faculty, which provides families with options and educators with a professional support system. Teaching can be a lonely profession without the type of continuous and constructive dialogue that out educators seek. Our mission to help each student reach his or her full potential can only be achieved if our educators collaborate and trust one another.
Because educators with My Learning Springboard are itinerant, we have the added challenge of collaborating without a common space. We use technology and online collaborative tools to work with educators in multiple locations, providing feedback and discussing cases in real time. All of this provides for stellar case management and thoughtful instructional design, but we can’t overlook the importance of face to face interactions to strengthen rapport.
To this end, my wife and I enjoy hosting dinner parties and get togethers for groups of 10-18 educators. We do our best to host family-style dinners so that educators from many different fields can share stories, laughter, and their thoughts about teaching and learning. We don’t set a specific agenda, and dinners always last for hours. We talk about instruction at various grade levels and the challenges we see in classrooms today. We share perspectives about standardized test preparation, debate educational politics, and compare our thoughts about college readiness. But most importantly, we always (re)discover one another’s overwhelming passion for teaching in whatever field that may happen to be and our common passion for lifelong learning.
When you bring a group of talented educators together, the conversation flows easily. There is an immediate sense of community and everyone shares the same goal for students–developing confidence, success, and a passion for learning. Each school year, we have the opportunity to share our dinner table with many talented teachers. These are always some of the most fun and inspiring meals.