Everybody Needs a “Tribe”

I have often thought that education, while requiring constant contact with humans big and small, can also be extremely isolating work. I know so many teachers and administrators who feel frustrated, exhausted, and lonely. My own work as a teacher and administrator has led me to the same place many times. I have learned that joining up with a professional community is not only a good idea, it is vital to our strength as educators.

I have found community in many places. The Colorado Montessori Association has become a touchpoint of professional connection for me, as has my membership in NAEYC and the Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado. Finally, I have found colleagues and people to challenge my perspectives in my graduate school program. Here are the top three reasons why surrounding oneself with a professional community is critical for all educators:

  • Sharing stories of the work you’ve done and hearing the stories of the work of others is a strong reminder that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are part of a “tribe” of warriors that makes the world a better place for children and families. We may work individually day-to-day, but our collective impact is enormous.
  • Somebody always has a new perspective that can challenge you to see the world (and the children and families in it) in a different light. Something that once seemed “right” and “normal” can suddenly seem antiquated or disrespectful. Conversely, a concept or idea that has always appeared downright odd or difficult to understand may become very clear and you may even begin incorporating it into your practice!
  • Finally, our participation in these groups also helps us find like-minded individuals, friends, and mentors who can bolster our individual practice and challenge us to be our best. Surrounding yourself with amazing, smart, creative, powerful people is always a smart move.

I am so grateful for my many professional colleagues who impact my work and support me every day. What are you going to do today to get out there and find your tribe?

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~ by vegucationmama on December 19, 2014.

2 Responses to “Everybody Needs a “Tribe””

  1. I love you talk about as being tribe and how we must stand up for early learning programs. Thank for sharing

  2. Thank you for your food for thought posts during these 8 weeks. I feel I am the chief of my tribe and I am learning from another chief to apply new learning, and foundations for all people in the field of ECE.
    Thank you,
    Brittney E.

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