Why has my mindset changed? Maybe change is the wrong word. Everything I said up top is still what I believe, but I'm having a very different experience this year. I'm beginning to understand that there's something special in doing roughly the same thing that your fellow subject teachers are doing. First, it allows us to have a real debrief of what worked and what didn't in order to make it better. Second, sharing and trust deepens the relationship between teachers which is good overall for the department. Third, and for my money most importantly, it's good for students because there are potentially multiple options on the table that work. Some of which may or may not work better for particular students. Why would I hide something that has been successful in my class and not share it?
What's the difference? My administration and department leadership aren't forcing me to do the same thing as the other teachers. Something about being able to discuss the activities, why we are doing the same stuff, and being asked my opinion makes me much less resistant to whatever systems are in place. I'm enjoying working as a team. I'm enjoying being invested in my teams' students and not just the adults.
Also, why put all the work on yourself all the time? Many hands makes light work.