I’m going to throw a confession out there: I’m a little cynical. For those of you that know me, I’m sure this comes as a shock. (Read with complete sarcasm.) It’s easy for this skepticism to carry over to certain aspects of my career as well. Lately, I’ve been kicking around this notion that there are 15 different groups in ag ed all trying to accomplish the same thing. Why can’t we band together these efforts and stop stepping on the toes of this group or that group? Luckily, there is one place in this great big world of agricultural education working together to make our lives as teachers easier: NAAE's Communities of Practice (CoP).
The first time I was introduced to CoP, I rolled my eyes. Surprising, right? It was suggested to us that we use it during student teaching. As a pre-service teacher, however, I was still trying to learn the intricacies of writing lesson plans and assessments, and I preferred to do everything myself. Fast forward into the real world of teaching, and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s were CoP can be a lifesaver.
If you’re not using CoP, I highly recommend you check it out. Teachers from all across the country post lesson plans, PowerPoints, teaching resources, technology ideas, and more. While I still like to tweak the resources I pull off of CoP, for the most part they’re teacher-tested, kid-approved. What a great avenue to share ideas and make our classrooms better.
Hopefully, if you choose to beg, borrow, and steal ideas from CoP, you won’t take, take, take, without giving, giving, giving. I have a general goal for myself that I’d present to each of you: for every item you download, put one of your own up. I was hesitant to do this at first, because I didn’t think my lessons were of high enough quality, but you never know who’s looking for something you have. Let’s work together to share ideas, give credit where credit is do, and make all of our lives simpler.
Yep, there are lots of things to be pessimistic about in our area of work, but collaboration isn’t one of them. NAAE's Communities of Practice is a great way to share ideas and lighten the load.
Here’s your challenge: post two items to CoP this month. Then, let me know what you think.
Post written by Rose Hartschuh