Collaboration is a great term, but I actually prefer the word partnering. Collaboration sounds like working with others while partnering sounds like a long-term investment in a relationship that is mutually beneficial to all. Our work environments are becoming more collaborative each day and are constantly extending to new parts of the world.  Human capital is our most precious resource. Collective thinking and working produces better ideas. Better ideas produce more innovation. More innovation produces more leadership, customers, brand approval and ultimately success. Our potential partners are all around us.

Our challenge as educators is whether we walk the walk. We ask our students to collaborate, or partner, but do we truly do it ourselves? How can educators model true collaboration and partnering to our students? Here are three extended categories focused on just that:

  • Collegial Collaboration
    • Teachers could trade classes for an hour, a day or even longer
    • Co-Teach a lesson, a project or course
    • Teach Collaboration
    • Organize schoolwide projects and challenges
    • Give students chances to reflect
  • Community Collaboration
    • Stakeholder Roles: Do we invite community members to serve on committees, boards and school initiatives? We should.
    • Advisory Boards 2.0: Career and Technical Education (CTE) has long required teachers and programs to have Professional Industry Partners. But this practice could be replicated through all classrooms.
    • Service Learning
  • Digital Collaboration
    • Personal/Professional Learning Network (PLN)
    • Social Media
    • Writing the Right: Our students are expected to write, and rightly so. They are also expected to digitally publish and share their work (although many classrooms are, unfortunately, not quite there yet).

Read the full article about collaboration and partnerships by Michael Niehoff at Getting Smart.