Since I moved out of the classroom & into a support role as Literacy Coach this year, I have rather meandered my way down the path, learning as I traveled. At first I thought talking to colleagues, both individually & in groups (small & large) would not be the same as talking to my students. I think I was wrong.
There are some basics that remain no matter whom you are working with: I believe in community building, finding good ways to connect personally. In conversations, I listen more than talk, nudge more than shove, show interest & support in what they are doing more than what I believe should be done. I show appreciation for all that is accomplished, whether baby steps, or giant ones. And, I try to be a resource when asked, rather than an expert who knows all. Do I take the wrong path once in a while? Of course. But the most important thing I've learned this year is that the same philosophy for helping others learn holds for everyone-from birth on. It's been a wonderful, new kind of year for me, but I guess I can say that I love my 'colleagues' just as much as I loved my students last year, & will look forward to learning beside them again next year.