Thursday, July 8

Community of Teachers - Check out #elemchat

What a week…Three opportunities.

Early this week I received the news that I missed an opportunity by days.  This opportunity won’t come along again and I was really disappointed.  Then, another opportunity came my way and I wasn’t interested.  Finally, the third opportunity occurred and I took it.  This got me thinking about timing.

I’ve been reflecting on my teaching career and the various choices that I’ve made.  I’ve been examining patterns and the one consistent theme for me, regardless of the venue, has remained true without wavering.  My teaching theme is enthusiasm.  If I’m not excited about what I’m doing, I’m unhappy.

Granted this seems simplistic in words but in practice it means everything.  From my first backyard classroom to my first public school job to my head of school job to my current small private school job as teacher and reading specialist, I’ve remained committed to my passion for teaching.  My enthusiasm for learning with my students is not only who I am; it is why I teach. 

All teachers have experienced frustration.  Each of us has run into the brick wall called outdated practices.  We work with people who continue to do the same lesson plans for decades.  There are some administrators who seem out of touch with trends or are uninterested or unavailable to listen to our new ideas.  (Sometimes just unavailable.)  It can be lonely when you are a square peg that doesn’t fit in a round hole.
 
Conversely, we meet other educators that are so joyful it is contagious.  We attend new and exciting events called “un-conferences” where innovative ideas abound.  We join on–line teacher groups where support and advice are freely shared.  There are days so filled with excitement and joy that we are close to bursting!

Tonight I will participate in #elemchat.  Tania Ash (@tcash) started the idea and it has grown and grown.  We’re even fortunate enough to have @suzieboss from edutopia.com as our moderator.   (I want to brag that they chose my topic: Project Based Learning.)  Here is another opportunity for educators to share for no other reason but they chose to do so – on their own time.  How can anyone not "get" Twitter and all it provides?  (Another topic for another blog?)

So, while I was sad for a few days about the missed opportunity, I’ve rebounded and I am getting ready for the next one.  Do other professions continually support one another the way teachers do? 

The community of teachers with whom I engage are this cheering section that I hear in my heart that keeps me focused on what matters.

Thanks! 

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