Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

In Thanksgiving for our CLPs

by User Not Found | Nov 25, 2013
By Mark Glasbrenner, Collaborative Learning Leader, Battelle for Kids

As we move into the holiday season with Thanksgiving, it can be a time to pause, reflect, and make sense out of the year. For me, Thanksgiving has become more about pausing to see where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. It is really a time for be thankful for what I have, and remember that even when life presents challenges (which it will), it is up to us to decide how we respond to life and make a positive decision to move into the future. 

When I was a principal in a very poor, disadvantaged school, I would often ask the kids what they needed to achieve their dreams. I would consistently get the answer, “Try harder; do better.” Not very formative but actually quite insightful. Can it be that simple? What would happen if we all intentionally and purposefully “tried harder and did better?” As we move into that promise of the future, we have many choices. One choice is to sit and wait. But the other choice is to grow. 

This reminds me so much of our district-based Collaborative Learning Practitioners (CLP) in the OAC. Our CLPs are meant to be. They are meant to carry on. There is a reason they are here, and I think it is about the “power to do good.”  Their choice is to grow. They are truly “trying harder and doing better” each and every day.

Recently, we asked our CLPs to share their Top 5 Moments from the past three years they have been serving in this role with the OAC. The responses they gave us speak volumes to the growth this group has seen by working together. Here are my Top 5 from their professional and personal Top 5:

  • “Planning waiver days and utilizing other CLPs to assist and support with delivery.”
  • “The focus has always been student learning. The focus and professional growth of teachers and staff members on moving forward with new initiatives. Our district and buildings have a focus which has helped unify the efforts to help our students succeed.”
  • “Front-loading us with a knowledge base for building support.”
  • “Reassurance that even though the work was hard, we came away with a prioritized list of how to attack the numerous initiatives. They seemed overwhelming, but we had a helpful guiding hand to help us through.”
  • “Personalized professional development; our teachers are leading and designing their own professional development.”
  • “The relationships that are built and the connections as we move forward.”
  • “People are no longer alone and questioning themselves. They have a collaboration system and sounding board to work with.”
  • “It has given people a chance to lead who would have never done so before.”
  • “Recognition and praise, and instilling a sense of value in us and what we do.”
  • “Friendships and collaboration, and the fact that we can call on one another for help and support”
CLPs, think how much better our world is because of you – strong relationships and connections; a sense of collective efficacy and confidence; leadership; instilling value and worth in others; being there for one another; focusing on students for their success; assisting and supporting. As we reflect, pause, or try to make sense out of this year, there is much to be thankful for. We are very thankful for you. 

I think a quote by Albert Schweitzer captures the true spirit and heart of our CLPs:

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.”

Thank you, CLPs.

We encourage you to share what you are thankful for in the comments below, or send a tweet using the hashtag #WeAreOAC.