HABIT #4—Think Win-Win
This is a habit I have struggled with and it is an area where improvement is needed. I am very competitive and do not always view relationships cooperatively. This was particularly the case last year when I was asked to give a colleague one of my AP World sections and assist her in designing curriculum and in teaching the course. My original thoughts were that it was my course. I had implemented the course at our school, had been teaching it for years, had experienced joy and success from the course, and I was outraged with the idea of sharing it. My colleague had approached me wanting to collaborate, that together, we might be able to make the course even better. I, on the hand, viewed us as competitors and worried that she might try to take my other section if she decided she enjoyed teaching the course. Obviously, this was not creating a win-win situation. My feelings about our work together changed when I noticed how hard she was working and that she was excited to share lessons she developed or materials from workshops she attended. In the end, I decided the best strategy for all concerned was cooperation and collaboration, not only to make the program better, but because it was not just about the two of us but about the students we were serving. I wanted all of the students to achieve and do well in the course; not just my own.
I am continuing to put “think win-win” into practice in working with my AP World History colleague and in working with fellow staff members to integrate technology into their classrooms. In terms to technology, I want my colleagues to be successful and have a positive experience with technologies in their classrooms. I also want everyone onboard with ideas I have to improve technology needs at our school. This will only work with a “win-win” strategy.
Commitment to teach Habit #4 Think Win-Win
I plan to share my habit with my husband, my AP World Colleague, and with my AP World History students. This will be a perfect opportunity, as my husband and I are both trying to lose weight. In the past I have viewed this competitively and we have not really worked together to change some of our eating habits. We often sabotaged the other’s efforts by bringing home the other’s favorite ice cream. We are both working cooperatively to eat healthy, regardless of who is cooking and come up with a plan that will work for both of us, rather than each having completely different plans. In terms my AP World colleague, I will continue to work with her to develop a better AP program, rather than keeping all of the resources to myself. For my AP World students, I have already encouraged them to work collaboratively and collectively with each other and to not view the course as a competition against each other. For example, not all class members worked on the Opium War conflict. Some worked on the Taiping or Boxer rebellions in China. For an up-coming Document Based Exam (DBQ) that focused primarily on the Opium War, I asked students who were experts on the Opium War to share their knowledge and work cooperatively and collaboratively with one another so that all students would benefit from this. I also had students who were better with analyzing point a view assist students who were not and students who were good at thesis statements assist students who were not.
Steps: Have AP World Students:
- Reflect on last week’s habit, “Put first things first.”
- Discuss the concept “think win-win” as we continue to plan for our up-coming AP Review sessions.
- I want to talk about areas of need and encourage them to collaborate and be part of the planning process for our review sessions, and possibly share in the hosting of them.
- Although I do approach this as a team effort, I emphasize that we are not in competition against each other and that our review will be a “win-win” if we cooperate and work together.
- Together, "win-win"