Monday, January 25, 2010

The Givers And The Hoarders

I have decided that there are two kinds of people. First, there are the ones who want to help you and pass on any of the life lessons that they have learned. They have found some great website, or store, job posting, or recipe, or place and they want to share their find with you. They want to save you time. Here’s the info, so you can be spared the leg work that I had to do. Second are the “hoarders”. They don't share information or stuff because in doing so they think that they are giving you an unfair advantage. They had to work hard, or research or search for something, so why should you get it for free?
Unfortunately, I have come across a lot of people who fit into the latter category. Since I work with primarily teachers, a lot of these “hoarders” that I have run into lately have been teachers. I find this highly ironic. Teachers are the ones who teach social responsibility. They are the ones that you find constantly droning on and on about sharing and working together. And yet, the reality is that a lot of teachers are hyper sensitive, hermit types who hoard all their ideas and lessons and resources to themselves. They don’t share.
Thankfully, there are also those who fit into the former category. Teachers who offer you books, and lessons, and music and even entire units. Teachers who clean out their bookshelves and donate extra books to you. Teachers whose support you can count on.
Teaching to me is (or should be) collegial. Teachers should be engaged in an ongoing conversation about practise and theory and ideas. Teachers should be role models of sharing and communicating and working together.
So, last week I was faced with a dilemma. I had gotten some cool units on the Olympics from an awesome teacher friend. Should I share them with my colleagues? Normally, this would be a no-brainer, but these were colleagues who had never shared with me and had in fact gone out of their way to exclude me. Should I be the bigger person? Should I act according to my beliefs or according to what they deserved? I decided (begrudgingly) to be the bigger person and share. May I never become one of "those" teachers who forgets that everything I need to know (about sharing) I learned in kindergarten.
PS. The teachers did not so much as glance at the units I offered. I am wondering whether perhaps the hoarder-types are also all-knowing and not in need of any help from anyone?

No comments: