As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
In the same way that iron sharpen iron, teacher sharpens teacher – these are the words we live by every term during week 7. Teachers gather to sharpen their skills and their peers’ skills to improve lesson delivery. There is mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. Likewise, teachers sharpen during communities of practice – a leveled platform where all teachers, both struggling and excellent, share their classroom issues and burdens, advise on how best to handle them, and get relief when best practices are shared.
During the daily grind of teaching, most of our teachers’ time is centered on lesson preparation and delivery, not on honing their skills and serving as a sounding board for their peers and mentors. In far too many instances, the only time that a teacher is helped is during teacher training and coaching. However, this inhibits the teachers from sharing all of their challenges – there is not always the time to go into detail on the issues a teacher is facing in a classroom. However, during the communities of practice, teachers tend to open up and share on their specific obstacles to success in the classroom. They share these challenges in small groups, and then other teachers help provide positive solutions.
A knife that has been sharpened will also shine more because all the dullness has been rubbed off its surface. Likewise, Impact Network teachers have a chance to shine once they have been able to receive support, guidance, and mentorship through communities of practice!