A child pointing to a globe of the Earth
Photo by Amy Humphries / Unsplash

I try to model our school interactions on how I experience great working relationships, and focus on building collaborative skills.

Example: say Wanda jumps up to go get our globe when a book we’re reading mentions a country she recognizes. In a traditional classroom setting, that’s a big disruption to the class (the way it might be in a big all-hands meeting at work). I try to remember that in most workplaces, the bulk of our actual productive work with others happens in smaller groups, where an a-ha! thought to grab a tool to help deepen the group’s understanding is a positive move, not a negative one. I work on Wanda communicating what she’s doing in the style I would expect from a collaborator, so she still feels free to act on that wonderful urge to expand our learning, rather than chastise her for not staying put. I’d rather she has strong working-team skills over compliant-cog skills. With maturation, she’ll learn to handle those all-hands meetings too, but that’s not the priority.

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