I hope your week has been A-MAZ-ING thus far!
From the title post, it almost seems like an oxymoron, right? Table for ONE and ways to collaborate! Let’s talk about how these two things relate.
First, many of you may not know this, but school administrators (at least in our district) are contracted for 12 months. This means that I am basically alone at my building for 3 months each year. Yes, my teachers will pop in and out, and my secretary is in a few days a month, and I enjoy visiting with my custodians off and on, but on the whole, I spend an awful lot of time alone in my office working to prepare for the next school year-at my table for one!
Now, if you are like my best friend (who is not a teacher, but whose wife IS), you might ask, “What do you do all day? What could there possibly be to do all summer long for that amount of time?”. (After which the room went quiet and everyone turned their attention to me…AWKWARD!)
I looked at him, took a breath and a moment to think, and then answered his question. I started by explaining exactly what I do- and it involves preparing everything from budgets and duty rosters to supply orders and professional readings (more on those in separate posts- I have read some AMAZING professional books this summer and still have several to go! YES!).
The response? A simple, “hmmmm” and a nod. Then the conversation went else where. But my mind stayed in gear mulling this over. I could have went on. After all, I didn’t tell him about the major handbook update I am working on, class list preparation, project details (we are renovating several areas in our school this year), and the list goes on. So…why am I sharing all of this with you, you might be asking?
Great question- COLLABORATION! Wait! What? You just said you sit alone in your office…
Yes, I did, but thanks to the modern marvel of social media, I am FAR from alone in my office working. I am constantly networking and collaborating with other administrators and leaders, both in my district and around the world. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?
Websters defines Collaboration as “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something”. Collaboration is a Verb! It’s something you DO, not something that happens TO you! That has really stuck with me over the years- it’s a verb!
What an awesome concept- to work with another person in order to achieve.
Now, I know that it is summer for the world of education- so then I get asked, “John, it’s summer. How do I collaborate? My (spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, ________) doesn’t know/care/understand what I am talking about!”
Well, true dat! But, there are still ways you can collaborate during the summer.
I’d like to share my 5 AMAZING ways that you can collaborate during the summer and beyond. These have been my go to solutions during the summer months whilst I am alone in my office!
1) Facebook: While it may seem like a time suck 99% of the time, Facebook really is a great way to collaborate over the summer. Join groups (or create your own and have your team members join) and use it as a place to share ideas, content, and even vacation pictures! It is amazing how quickly you can connect and grow. (Pro Tip: Set up expectations from the start- like no drama allowed!) And with Facebook LIVE now a feature, you have the power to quickly and easily share visually in real-time with instant feedback! (If you have subscribed to our mailing list, you have access to our Facebook collaboration group- information about how to join can be found on the Subscribers Perks page! If you haven’t subscribed- use the sign-up form to the right, or click HERE)
2) Book Club or Group: A book club or group is a perfect summer solution to collaborating. Not only do book clubs or groups allow you space to do your “thang”, the commitment is minimal but still provides a lot of value and opportunity for growth! The key is to find a topic that truly interests you and then ask for or look up book titles. Be sure to make notes in the margins or in a notebook to keep your learning available for later use!
3) Twitter Chats: If you haven’t experienced a Twitter Chat, well… you need to. Start by jumping in on a current forum and get ready to learn. As you get more comfortable with the format, think about hosting your own Twitter Chat on a topic you are passionate about. You will be astounded at the amount of insight and sharing that takes place. Not sure how to use Twitter? A quick Google search will yield helpful tutorials and resources.
4) Blabs, Google Airs, & Webinars: There is no end to the amount of video-based social events that are on the air and web waves. AND, depending on your comfort level with being “live”, there is so much value to be had from these events. Whether hosting or enjoying- these events will provide you with amazing value and collaborative insights!
5) Periscope: Similar in nature to #4 above, Periscope provides the opportunity to enjoy live (or replay) video without being seen. You simply get to sit back and relax! It’s like collaboration without the dress code! Want to make a comment? You can, but you don’t have to. Remember, when you are ready you can host your own “scope” and share your insight and knowledge for others to glean.
To get a FREE high-quality PDF that you can download and print, click HERE (or on the infographic) to join our collaborative group! It’s easy, it’s FREE, and you will continue to get great content like this! You will also have access to our subscriber’s perks page, and our Facebook community group! Go ahead- join us today!
Listen to this post while your work/drive/multi-task!