Written by Colleen Haag, biology teacher
As I reflect on our team’s journey over the last two years, I’m reminded of the Tough Mudder I completed with some close friends. If you don’t know what a Tough Mudder is, it’s 12 miles of obstacles designed by British Special Forces to test physical and mental strength and reward teamwork and interdependence. Tough Mudders are messy courses full of ramps, ropes, hoops, ditches, and more, but with the purpose of challenging you to step, crawl, run, or jump outside your comfort zone. There is no way these courses can be done alone, and there are no programs that can prepare you for one. In a Tough Mudder, you and your group must be constantly learning by doing, embracing the mess, and becoming a better and more efficient team. In the beginning of my Tough Mudder, I had a number of individual goals (e.g., finishing without getting hurt), but at some point during the event, I started thinking and caring more about the success of my team.
In many ways, Tough Mudders remind me a lot of building a professional learning community (PLC).
In 2021, I joined the Central Bucks biology collaboration team at CB East High School after 18 years of teaching eighth grade. This was just after the pandemic, and bringing the school back together as a community was the top priority. We had many messy obstacles to face, but we were going to overcome them together and come out stronger.