Friday, June 30, 2017

An Introduction to the Framework for Collaboration and Cooperation

When one practices transparency it is under the pretenses that he or she is constantly working on open-communication and holds themselves accountable. Professionalism is a skill and practice of good judgement and polite behavior, no matter the situation. Character deals with the integrity of a person always striving to utilize and practice sound mental, moral, and emotional qualities. To be successful in continuing to develop these qualities, two parts are needed. One needs to tap into their will-power to make the decision to act in these ways. The driving force to remind yourself when situations are difficult, should be that you are answering to the child.

In communicating to parents, administrators and other co-workers, you’re not really answering their questions, but rather answering on behalf of the child. It is a mindset that you must constantly hold in both your mind and your heart, to help navigate through challenging conversations. When your thoughts and your communications are focused on serving the child, it is easier to not let comments affect your communication personally. There may be a feeling of advocacy for the child, which might cause you to communicate as if you are taking something personally, but it has to be with the mindset that you are holding the service for the child in the highest regard. When you do this, you can’t or won’t take it personally. Your conversation will be directed into a positive flow with a successful outcome.

So, in your interactions, this mindset will more readily enable you to have a reflective conversation when the other person seems to be attacking either you, what you’re doing or what is happening at your school. The bottom line is that the parents, teachers and the administration all want what is best for the child and the trained teacher needs to direct or redirect any given conversation into a compromise and a collaboration of the end goal: what’s best for the child?

While this is a subjective question, the parents have their personal experience, maybe whatever they have read and their own intuition to fall back on, but the trained Montessori teacher has their education and experience to support the end goal of guiding, not only the child but the directives given to the child to nurture their timeless characteristics and tendencies. When the adult can fall back on timeless characteristics and tendencies, there is little room for arguing or interpretation.

A starting point in any conversation can be with the end goal of having the following statement in mind: The “child” is not just the small person in front of you, but includes all the children who are not in front of you, humanities’ future.  When we focus on something greater than ourselves, we become humble, which is also an important quality to harness. The work before us becomes not about us. The desire to serve the child feeds our will-power to help us accomplish those tasks that otherwise might seem impossible.

In conclusion, as illustrated in the graphic above, there’s a paradigm and framework that I would like to communicate to incorporate as many dynamics as possible to best support the education of the child. The first part will be an understanding of the communication and collaboration between the parent and teacher; the second part will be the teacher and administrator’s perspective; and the third part will be administrator/parent communication and collaboration, to create the angles of the triangle. The final piece will be the role of adults, assistants and the environment, all with the focus of the child in the center, giving us an acute equilateral triangle. This triangle is always the goal, but it will always morph into any of the other 6 types of triangles based on the give and take relationship and interactions among people and the environment. The goal is to have as close to an acute equilateral triangle as possible based on collaboration, cooperation and communication.