I had to write a short postcard style story for school yesterday, about a time I learned something. I don’t know whether it was the supermoon, over tiredness, or just an empty brain, but I really couldn’t think of anything to write. Now, it’s rare for me to find myself at a loss for words, as anyone who knows me would agree, but I was stumped. So, I just started writing, I didn’t come up with anything brilliant, but a little story about learning to swim came to me, and it got me thinking. I wasn’t writing about learning to swim for the first time, I described the feeling of learning how powerful my body could be in a swim race when I was in university. The lesson I learned , though, was the empowerment I felt from my team mates, running along the side of the pool, cheering me on. I swam for years, it’s very hard work, but I loved it because I was always part of a team. Twenty five years later, I am still part of a team, and I think it’s that collegiality that makes my work so enjoyable. I work in a large school, so there are departments and divisions by grades and subjects taught, but our varied teaching roles don’t seem to interfere with our friendships. We have a great time together. Our staff room at lunch time is always lively and entertaining. We only get about half an hour together a day, but we manage to check in on everyone’s family lives, we discuss students and specific issues, and most importantly, we laugh! I don’t know how many schools have a similar feeling of support amongst their teachers, I hope that most do, but I can say why I think our school works the way it does. I think it does because our school administration allows us the autonomy to work together as a teaching team, and to solve our own problems. They are readily available if needed, but our roles and responsibilities as teachers and administrators are clearly defined without anyone mentioning them. It might sound like a simple solution, but I have heard from teachers in other school districts that this is not always the case. Teaching is not a competitive environment-no one gets paid more for doing a better job with their students, at least not in Canada, so I hope teachers will think twice about opportunities to work with their colleagues, and not take them for granted.