The best translation to sharing in Portuguese is “compartilhar”. Despite my knowing this for a fact, I don’t like it. Just as in many other situations when you’re trying to translate / convey a message exactly the same way in two different languages – translation can be quite a challenging task. Why am I not satisfied? I don’t think “compartilhar” covers the entire scope of meaning that sharing encompasses.
For me, sharing is an innate quality in teachers. As a person whose goal is to see others learn and use that learning to better their lives, I am always happy to see learning taking place, whether in my students or anywhere else around me. And I think sharing goes hand in hand with that feeling. I also believe many of my teacher friends think the same way.
What does sharing mean to you? How do you share? Who do you share with? Professionally speaking, for a teacher sharing mostly means spreading the word about new resources or tools you’ve found. It means telling other teachers – who may work in the same school as you or not – about activities and things you’ve done in class that worked really well, giving them material you’ve prepared, discussed things that went wrong when doing a specific activity – so as to keep other teachers from having the same problem. It means talking about difficulties you have in class with your peers and maybe get some advice or just some moral support.
But why share? What do you get when you share?
Well, for starters, you don’t lose anything – in my humble opinion. A friend once told me that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. She used it as an analogy for teacher sharing, professional sharing. Some people might disagree and say that when you are a teacher (or a lecturer, a presenter) that may not be entirely true. Some might feel uncertain about sharing ideas, activities or materials because they feel these are an “edge” they have, something that makes them stand out in the crowd of teachers. Or maybe they have had their ideas taken over and somebody else take ownership of them, claiming to have created them We all know this is a reality in our world, only made easier with internet and the advancement of technology. And anyone who prefers not to share, or saves a couple of “special” ideas here and there – hey, nothing wrong with that! I have kept one or two things out of my “sharing pool” eventually, because it was something I’d be presenting at a conference, or entering in a competition of some sort.
But mostly, I’m a sharer. I love doing it. And it’s not only because I learn things from what the others share. Teachers are not like that, the If-you-want-to-get-some-you-gotta-give-some-in-return type (am I being naïve? Maybe…). So why do I share? Because if something worked well and helped me have a fabulous lesson I want other teachers to have an equally fabulous lesson. Because one of these teachers that I share my idea with may have an insight and make it even better, take it a step further. Because it’s in my nature. And I love nothing by doing it – I only gain.
What about you? Why do YOU share (or not)? Share your thoughts!