Before education, I was employed in the wholesale industry. As part of a small team, I played my part in ensuring customers — retailers in this case — were achieving the best they possibly could with our product. I wasn’t, however, on my own. I wasn’t allocated a certain number of customers who I was responsible for from start to finish. What did happen is each of my colleagues played their particular role, be that order processing, marketing, sales etc. Each of these roles came together to create the overall customer experience and business functionally. We couldn't have operated without one of them, and one of them could not have operated on their own. We worked collaboratively with one another.
Fast forward to my introduction to Education. A world where it seemed like my constant communication and contact with colleagues was drastically reduced, and all of a sudden, it was required that I perform all the roles needed to ensure the customers — students in this case — achieved the best they possibly could with our product: education.
I have since, however, found joy in developing my collaborative practice more and more to a point where I feel like all those wonderful things I missed from business were back. I have had the pleasure along the way of meeting some wonderfully brilliant educators who possess incredibly high-level collaborative skills. These individuals don’t see themselves as individuals alone, but rather, a vital part of a high-functioning supportive team.
So, what changed for me? How did I begin to collaborate as an educator?