Teaching isn't easy. Or at least teaching has't always been easy for me. Don't get me wrong, I have seen growth in myself as a professional since I started, but I take it very personal when I am not successful. I knew that I enjoyed teaching, but going into my fifth year teaching middle school math, I was feeling the strain that comes from feeling like I have to do it all on my own. I still believe that it is ultimately up to me whether I am successful or not, but I am learning (and slowly accepting) that I cannot do it alone.
What am I learning about collaboration?
Collaboration doesn't have to be this formal "thing" that you do, but it should be focused around what you are trying to do. If I want to be a better math teacher, I need to surround myself with those who I believe to be great math teachers. And it's not enough to mealy surround myself with them... I need to talk to them, question them, and ultimately learn with them. I don't think any good teacher can do it alone... and it has taken me almost five years to realize and begin to accept that.