Over the past couple of weeks, my students have been discussing the sometimes thorny issue of collaboration in schools. The main focus is on TLs collaborating with teachers with my students. However, I do remind them that we need to think of collaboration as an issue for the whole school, as many teachers find it difficult to collaborate with other teachers, especially outside their own department. School culture has a major effect on whether collaboration is likely to happen in a school. In some schools, collaboration is actively encouraged between departments, and between the TL and teachers. In other schools, there is an assumption that collaboration will be on the minds of school staff, but there is no active encouragement. So, many TLs face the issue of teachers wondering why they are being approached as a potential collaborative partner, as this is not something that happens in that particular school. Explaining the value of collaboration to both sides is the key starting point here. It can’t be assumed that this value will be recognised.
On Sunday, a bright and sunny day, a walk along Seacliff Beach, which is about 10 miles (16.2k) from Dunbar. It’s a lovely spot for walkers, surfers and fishermen, and there are great views across to the Bass Rock, where 100,00 gannets are presently nesting, as well as to the sun-kissed Tantallon Castle. As you walk along the beach, if you look up, you can see the ruins of Seacliff House, which must have been a very impressive sight when it was in its prime. There’s something exhilarating about walking along a beach, then over the limestone pavements which form the rocks, and which include little pools of sea water, each of which is a world of its own. The photo below shows the rod of a hopeful fisherman with the Bass Rock in the background.