Friday, June 4

The Dream Team at #edcamp Philly

I am a teacher! What I do and say are being absorbed by young minds who will echo these images across the ages.  My lessons will be immortal, affecting people yet unborn, people I will never see of know.  The future of the world is in my classroom today, a future with the potential for good or bad.  The pliable minds of tomorrow’s leaders will be modeled either artistically or grotesquely by what I do.  Author Unknown

Today is the first day of summer break.  It has been a long week and I am feeling overwhelmingly discouraged.

The quote above helped me realize a few things.

I love being a teacher.  I value this profession and treasure the time I spend developing this calling.  I’ve started analyzing why I feel so out of sorts.

I’ve come realize that there is a difference between frustration from teaching and frustration from venue.  I went to #edcamp Philly in May and was so inspired by what I learned that I haven’t been able to look at my current school environment the same way.  The educators I met and observed at this un-conference were my dream team!  These passionate professionals’ agenda was simple: learning and sharing.  If felt as though I had a sneak peek into a secret society where altruism and generosity were the norm.  Yes, Twitter educators and my PLN were re-lighting my fire for teaching this past year, but this was tangible, visceral and in the flesh! Almost three weeks later, the gift of #edcamp Philly still resonates and is my catalyst for change.

I teach in a place that does not embrace technology, let alone new ideas.  I am starved for leadership and growth.  My ideas are frowned upon and dismissed. 

As I begin this summer, I know I do not want to stop teaching.  It is becoming clearer to me that my discouragement is due to location, not profession.  So, as a teacher who loves to learn, it is time for me to look at things in a new way.

That is what learning is.  You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.  Doris Lessing


Ann said...

I often feel the same way, but try to remember that I am there for the kids and that's all that matters in the end. It is not easy to balance the idealistic world of my awesome friends on Twitter with my reality in school, but I will keep plugging away. I hope you can find a place that will allow you to feel enriched, a school where everyone works for a common goal. Thank you for comig to edcamp, it would not have been a success without people like you!

Barbara Day said...

I understand your frustration. I have been amazed by the generosity of people on Twitter when it comes to sharing their resources and information, particularly when the people I work with face to face are not nearly as forthcoming. Fortunately my principal is supportive, but as I have said before, I feel like I am leading a secret life; learning, blogging, talking with people from all over the world. When I do share things I have learned with my coworkers, they don't seem to be interested. My kids on the other hand, are excited and enthusiastic. I just did a survey with my kids about the technology we have tried this year, and I'm feeling pretty good about their responses. Once you start this journey, you can't turn back. Good luck on any new venture you undertake.

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Thanks for the support and empathy. It means a great deal to me.

Parent and Child Reading Assistance said...

My children's school has used a good portion of fund PTA's raising efforts on books and technology. If you have an active PTA you may want to approach them to fund some technology wishes. Our school now has two carts with 28 apple laptop computers for teachers in the elementary school to share.

My advice is to take small steps and seek out supporters.

Some people are not capable of change. Use your energy the best you can. Teaching is such a demanding job.

Best Wishes,
Your supporter,

Sarah said...

I HEAR YOU! I've taught in three different schools in three totally different states. I've had the luxury of comparing and contrasting them on educational issues across the board. One thing I've learned: there is no perfect school and no perfect administration.

HOWEVER, there are schools/administrations that are more supportive, collaborative, and progressive than others. There are schools that empower their teachers to teach with the best of their ability. I hope you find one of these schools so you can really enjoy teaching again!!

In the meantime, enjoy your summer break :)