Our school has a "no meetings" policy for the month of December. It's nice to take a break... but the group of first grade teachers that I work with always want to meet, even when we are given permission to skip the time together. I guess it's because they really like each other and are sincerely interested in what the other teachers on the grade level are doing. With 14 members on our team it's hard to keep up with what everyone is doing! It's not a competitive feeling but a collaborative spirit that binds them together. Last night, even though they didn't have to meet, they decided to bring a potluck dish to Debbie Harbour's house. Not only did they enjoy the fellowship but they each brought ideas to share about things they do at the holidays - academic ideas, songs and poems, thoughtful ideas for room moms, crafts they make with their children, parent gift ideas... That's especially important because we have a first year teacher and two teachers new to our grade level this year. The more seasoned members of the team were happy to share what they do, especially their "tried and true."
I am so proud of this team. They have been dubbed the "Dream Team" on more than one occasion, even though the members have come and gone over the years (6 of the current members, by the way, have become Nationally Board Certified since coming to Chets Creek!) Occasionally they have been called demanding but it's because they have the same high expectation of ALL the people that they work with that they have for themselves and for their team mates. They are supportive, caring and the most professional group that I have ever worked with. It has been a thrill to watch them grow individually and collectively, but more than that, it has been such a growth experience for me to learn from them. I count my experiences with them as some of my most profound professional development.