Principal Aspect: Collaboration in Action

WHEN brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright finally succeeded in matching up their aeronautical theories with practice in 1903, their idea of a human flight which they had begun firming up in the late 1890s was an instant hit. Their joint invention opened up a faster way of travelling for people across the globe and even greased the wheels for journeying into uncharted territories in the world. Fifty years later in 1953, a milestone in human history electrified the whole scientific community: the discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by James Watson and Francis Crick who were colleagues at Cambridge University. Their accurate description of the DNA’s double-helical structure heralded the advent of genetic engineering and biotechnology, laying the groundwork for the proliferation of molecular studies that culminated in such landmark scientific undertaking as the Human Genome Project.

The Wright brothers and the Cambridge duo would never have triumphed in their respective fields had they underestimated the value of working with each other. Evidently, in all aspects of their work, collaboration served as the glue that held them together as they planned, tested out, revised and perfected the necessary steps leading to the achievement of their endeavor. And just like any other pursuit that involves two or more people, its success lies in the harmonious meeting of heads for ideas, hearts for intention, and hands for action and the coordinated manner of taking on a job together toward the accomplishment of the same goal. And regardless of the number of individuals toiling away to achieve that goal, collaboration is an effective and essential ingredient for bringing whatever mission to its fruition.  

Collaboration is also key to overcoming organizational challenges. In a learning institution, it has become a one-word mantra among personnel and a ready practice for addressing job-related problems of teachers and academic concerns of learners. When the ongoing global health crisis upended the traditional manner of classroom instructional delivery, the collaborative spirit among teaching workforce in our school, for example, was even more pronounced: they trained each other up in various capacity buildings and, despite their own cares, opted to bring together resources to lighten the burdens of some learners whose families were hugely affected by the pandemic. Our teachers’ collaboration lessened our school’s fear for those learners requiring assistance, but it was only through the involvement of other organizations that our concern for learners without physical and financial means for online distance learning fully dissipated.

Learning institutions would thrive under the new normal not only by embracing digital technology but also by acknowledging the benefit of collaborating with those outside their turf. For City of Mandaluyong Science High School (CMSHS), its successful adoption of online distance learning modality is a testament to the transformative power of collaboration. Recognizing the necessity to continuously provide for the whole school year those students in need, CMSHS has partnered with stakeholders to reach that end. The “Project CONNECT” initiated by our language teacher, Mrs. Jonnafe Jynn Tanalgo, and the “Data Mo, No Problemo” initiative of CMSHS General Parents-Teachers Association were an upshot of these collaborative efforts aimed at addressing the shared concerns of the school community: to secure the attendance of target learners in virtual classes through gadget and pocket Wi-Fi donations and load provisions.

While such collaboration is not uncommon in a learning institution, (and would never parallel to the universal appeal of the Wright brothers’ or the Cambridge duo’s historic work) its impact upon those who have poured out their time, money and energy, and those who have witnessed its team-enhancing, problem-solving value cannot be denied. While it strengthens communication between and among individuals as they pool their knowledge and expertise to carry out a collective task, it also increases the team’s learning potential by thinking out a problem together, enabling team members to learn from each other and grow from their experiences thereby resulting in an organizational productivity. And this is no wonder: the biblical wisdom of Ecclesiastes 4:9, along with so many others from the Scriptures, testifies to the whole truth about the power of working together, affirming that “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”

Now that’s collaboration in action!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s