Last weekend, a great conference took place in Istanbul. The aim of the conference was creating a platform for sharing for schools that give education within a framework of an international program. Some of our teachers also attended this conference as presenters and shared their experiences with the other educators. After the conference, the organizing school sent an email to the presenters and asked whether they could upload the presentations to the conference website. The replies to this email is the reason why I’m writing this blog post. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of the replies. In their emails, many educators were saying to the organizers that they didn’t want to share their presentations on the website. The reason they don’t want this may well be the students photos or videos in the presentations, which is understandable, but it is possible to share the presentation without those files.
At this point, I’d like to ask: How can educators develop unless they share? How can our education system develop unless educators share?
Educators has been using social networks actively since 2008-2009 in our country. The biggest benefit of this has been the development of culture of sharing and the fact that sharing is not limited to the walls of the teachers’ room. However, it seems that the importance of sharing cannot be internalized by some educators. Perhaps, in some schools, sense of competition is very dominant and educators cannot share although they want to. However, education leaders (school owners, principals, department heads) should look at this issue from a broader perspective and perceive ‘sharing’ as something that contributes to the field of education and the development of our country. Practically, if a system or an application in one school gives inspiration to another school, the school who is the owner of the idea will not lose prestige or their student number won’t decrease, on the contrary, this puts them in a leader position in the field.
To sum up, presenting at conferences is, of course, ‘sharing’. Participants may be inspired by what the presenter talks about, and may want to adapt the ideas to their own context, or generate other ideas using the original idea. Therefore, they might need a written document (slides, handout, website, etc.) after the session. If there is no sharing at this point, I believe, the presentation does not reach its aim.
Considering the format of the conference and that all the schools who attended the conference implement an international programme that promotes a sharing culture, I am having a real difficulty in understanding those teachers who refuse to share anything after their presentations. I am very proud to say that our teachers have already shared their presentations with the organizers. My aim with this blog post is not to judge anyone, but I feel that while we are talking about ‘sharing’ all the time, in practice there is a ‘not willing to share’, ‘keeping to themselves’ situation. By the way, isn’t it ironic to state the importance of sharing to our students, but avoid doing so in our own lives?
I wish you happy days with a lot of sharing.