Finding our tribe, helping students to do the same?

Googling ‘Finding your tribe’ nets over 9 million hits, many of them (and I only scrolled through a few pages), focus on how to build your tribe.  Why is it important?

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Jim Rohn

“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganised friends.  If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker”, Tim Ferriss , The Four Hour Work Week

“You are the average of the five people around you. This isn’t quite true but you get the idea. Be around people who love and inspire and respect you and who you respect. Every moment otherwise is a waste.” James Altucher

Not sure that I like the idea that anyone is average, certainly not my colleagues, certainly not my students, certainly not me, but I do like the gist of the idea.

Surrounding oneself with optimistic, enthusiastic, kind, grateful, caring, energised people is clearly positive.  We all want to connect with like-minded people and this is so important when creating a culture of respect and care.

This has massive importance in our classrooms.  If we are part of the same tribe as our students, doesn’t it mean that any learning experience is better?  If we are of the same tribe as our colleagues, doesn’t this mean that our interactions are more powerful?  Doesn’t this lead to better outcomes for all students.

Twitter is a powerful tribe-finding tool.  We can listen, learn and share with like-minded others.  Helping students to develop meaningful online connections is crucial if we are to help them to begin to find, or even to develop, their own tribes.

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