I’ve been reading a book called Tribes Learning Communities, by Jeanne Gibbs, and it’s added considerable fuel to my commitment to establish more of a sense of community and collaboration in my classes next year. Over the years, I’ve heard or read about most of the concepts she discusses, but it’s been good for me to review them this summer, especially since I’ve almost completely lost touch with the importance of community in a classroom. My classroom is a place of competition more than cooperation. My students work separately and independently way more than they work collaboratively. What this book (and some of the others I’ve read this summer) is telling me is that learning how to collaborate, join forces, and work together is a skill my students simply must learn if they are to be successful members of society. I need to continue being the leader and guide in the classroom, but I also need to give my students many more opportunities to be a part of peer-groups that discuss, listen, plan, cooperate, and get things done. That’s probably my major goal for the coming year – more collaboration, more teamwork, more community.