Wednesday, May 27, 2015

You Can't Always Get What You Want ... Or Can You?

If you've been following our blog at all, you know that we talk a lot about the importance of communication, common vision, and compromise in a successful collaborative teaching partnership. And most of the time, we stand by our emphasis on compromise, but - real talk - sometimes you just want things the way you want them and that's that. In fact, in the beginning of our partnership, we had trouble adapting to not being the queen in the classroom. You can read about our battles for dominance here: Lessons from the Limb #2: The Legend of the Wolf. One way we tried to mitigate that feeling of just wanting things a certain way - darn it! - was to try an idea that KH had heard about awhile ago that someone used to keep their kids from arguing. The way it works is that one person holds "The Power" (this isn't what it's called but it sounds so snazzy, right?). When you have "The Power" (ooooooo), you have the right to decide anything your way that you want. Want to choose the color of the paper on your classroom walls? Use "The Power"! Have a strong feeling about how you want the tables to be arranged in the classroom? Use "The Power"! Want to organize things in a certain way? Use "The Power"! Buuuuutttt ... here's the catch of "The Power", once you use it, it's gone and it rests in the hands of the other person until they use it then it swings back your way. Get it?

Now this is probably not something to use on really big important things, like how you want to organize your reading program or whether you want to have joint responsibility for all of your students, but it can be really helpful with the petty stuff. Because honestly, it can be the petty stuff that can trip you up when trying to bring your two kingdoms together into one domain.

We tried this little plan of ours to use "The Power" our first year teaching together. Immediately, KM used "The Power" for something silly like glitter pens. Then "The Power" transferred to KH who has been holding it, waiting for a big decision to sway her way ... and yeah, it's been three years so ... this little anecdote probably gives you an interesting view into our respective personalities, but it really could work if you're not crazy people, like us :) Care to try it? Let us know if it works for you!

From the limb,

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