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  Each of us has run into the brick wall called outdated practices.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 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.



Cathy said...

It is true that enthusiasm for the profession is contagious. Having a group of teachers on Twitter who engage in meaningful conversation and inspire one another is a gift. I have learned so much from everyone, but mostly I remain inspired to better myself and the work I do with children. Like you, I feel my community has grown exponentially since finding Twitter and following blogs. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.

Parent and Child Reading Assistance said...

You have a great attitude! I'm no longer teaching in a classroom, and I miss being around other teachers. I have a neighbor who has a teaching background and has taken time off to raise her kids like myself. She will start teaching preschool next year. Volunteering at my children's school, tutoring, researching, and connecting online keeps me in the loop.
I love that I can stay connected to the teaching profession and take as much time as I need to raise my own children. I'd teach in a classroom if nearby districts had more half-time positions available.
I've found a balance that keeps me happy. It is so important to enjoy your life. Thanks for sharing your joy!

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I don't know what I would do without my on-line teacher support. It is so important to me. Thanks again.