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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in sharing

Posted by on in School Culture


Growing up, I remember some key phrases my mom and dad would tell my brother and me, the most common being, "Amy! Share with your brother!"

Today, as a parent, I find myself using that same phrase daily. Whether it be telling my boys to share their toys, share the game, or share a crayon, I am always teaching them the concept of sharing.  During this past holiday break, I felt as though I had been teaching this element of sharing every waking hour of the day!

In theory, the concept of sharing is not difficult. By definition, the Merriam-Webster dictionary simply defines sharing as, "to have or use something with others; to divide something into parts and each take or use a part; to let someone else have or use a part of something that belongs to you”.

In our own terms, sharing is the giving of one's item to another to use themselves. We share in order for others to borrow an item or even an idea. From an early age, we teach our children to share. Share toys. Share books. Share pencils. Share games. We even teach our children to share their learning. Turn and talk to a partner to share your thinking. Share your thoughts in your reading journal on this chapter we just read. Show your math work to share your thought process while working through the problem.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership


With schools placing an even greater emphasis on “interconnectedness” and “global citizenship,” I can think of no better professional-development tool for teachers than writing and sharing their ideas online.

Along these lines, I propose a new school position (perhaps “education outreach coordinator”) to teach faculty and staff how to write effective posts, pitch stories to media outlets, and actively engage on social media. This coordinator would also teach basic code, and how to create and manage individually-operated education sites. I imagine that such a position would operate independently of the communications office, though collaboration would likely prove beneficial. In addition to being an avid blogger him or herself, the education outreach coordinator should have immense classroom experience to offer better support and guidance to others.

The benefits of this position are enormous, both for the school (which would receive positive attention through enhanced teacher outreach) and for the writer (who would benefit from professional growth and possibly even accolades). For example, in large part because of my own blogging efforts, I was tapped as a Teacher of the Future by the National Association of Independent Schools. In turn, this has opened many other doors, including freelance writing for The Atlantic and Edutopia. This spring, I will present on self-directed learning at SXSWedu, the biggest conference on educational trends in the country.

I’m not at all special, nor do I profess to be any better at teaching than others, but I’ve managed to promote my school and myself because of my passion to write and share. I imagine the education outreach coordinator would be responsible for the following:

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Posted by on in Early Childhood


As soon as children are old enough to walk, we expect them to share. I prefer putting "share" in quotes, since this type of sharing is usually forced by the adult. Our goals are noble: kindness, generosity, awareness of others. Unfortunately, our approach backfires.

Kids learn more life skills -- and develop better generosity - when they aren't forced to share.

Of course, sharing squabbles happen all the time between kids. Here’s a typical scene: One child is busily engaged with a toy when a new child comes up and wants it. A nearby adult says: “Be nice and share your toys,” or “Give Ella the pony. You’ve had it a long time.” What happens? The child is forced to give something up and her play gets interrupted. She learns that sharing feels bad. It’s the parent who’s sharing here, not the child.

Traditional sharing expects kids to give up something the instant someone else demands. Yet we don’t do this ourselves. Imagine being on your cell phone when somebody suddenly comes up and asks for your phone or takes it from you. “I need to make a phone call,” he says. Would you get mad? As adults, we expect people to wait their turn. We might gladly lend our phone to a friend or even a stranger, but we want them to wait until we’re done. The same should apply to kids: let the child keep a toy until she’s “all done.” It’s turn-taking. It’s sharing. But the key is it's child-directed turn-taking. 

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