Think about the most creative and exciting time(s) in your career. Have you go it? If you are like me, the one common thread for these bursts of innovation/excitement is the people you share it with.
For the last 10 years, I have felt the ebb and flow of creativity; sporadic moments of inspiration and then times in the doldrums (ruts for lack of better words). But, like my very first class, I will always remember that first moment of collaboration. It was an awaking of something inside of me which I never experienced before. Don't get me wrong, we did "cooperative/group" projects in school. The differences between what I experienced in school and what I was part of now was epic. In school, every project was for grades, there was always a sense of competition and pressure. This was different... there was this great freedom and joy.
Brent Raabe (@braabe) was my very first teaching partner. We were both teaching Physics at Dr. Charles Best Secondary (me for the first time). Brent was the master (think his Obi Wan to my Luke Skywalker). Not only did he mentor me, but pushed me forward. We worked together to create new, innovative ways to get kids excited in Physics. There was this sense of joy in the process, that we were doing things that would make a difference in our students experiences at school (and hopefully in their lives).
Over the last 10 years, I have been so blessed to work with so many amazing teachers who want to share, grow and create as part of a team. And while it energizing to be collaborative, it HAS to start with the person in the mirror. You need to seek out people with common interests, sit a table with someone besides the people you normally sit with, take a risk, become part of a learning team.
To all those people who have let me be a part of this process with you (there are too many to name), I want to thank you for making this the greatest job on the planet! Take the leap.