Whoa, two blogs in two days! You might think I enjoy this writing stuff!
Why being human? I messaged with a friend a couple of days ago, and it just struck me that here we are, both in our 40’s, working as hard as we ever have before. First year teacher hard. And the layers keep getting added to what we do. Sometimes it’s conversations like that which make you realize you have to find those ways to keep your own humanity alive.
I have all the trappings of social media. I have a Twitter page (@AnIowaTeacher) that is devoted to a lot of educational stuff, but also a lot of other stuff too. For those not in education, it’s where I continue to develop my PLN or Personal Learning Network. I’ve been told it needs to be “professional”, but my learning isn’t just education. I follow activists, farmers, gardeners, moms/dads, musicians, authors, and just random people because my life isn’t just my job. I went through five years where it was, and that’s not where I want to be. I could easily work seven days a week as a teacher, but that’s not living. I have a Facebook page where I’ve connected with family, old classmates, and friends in this area. I also have an Instagram page (to which my daughters’ friends’ eyes get really wide: “Your dad has Instagram???”) in which I do the same thing. I follow all sorts of different fun and goofy people because life is more than your job. Some of my 8th graders have searched me out and see the dorky things I do, and I catch a little grief for it at school, but if you can’t laugh at yourself, why laugh at all?
I also have this blog, which is a great outlet for many things educationally related and not so much. I enjoy seeing the reaction so topics get and the lack of reaction others get. One of the great things about this blog, is that when people like a topic, it shares with me their blog. I’m following some people I will never have the chance to meet, which is ok because I get this window into their mind and soul through their writing. The more I read personal blogs, the more I realize that humanity is alive and well all around us, it’s just a matter of us slowing down long enough to recognize it!
One blog I follow is by a guy named Erik Conover. I may have written about some of his content before in terms of his blog work, but he’s also in the vlogging (video blogging) on YouTube. I’d not been on his channel so I clicked over and watched yesterday’s vlog titled “Feeding the Homeless”. It just made me sit back and feel good about humanity again. That one hit even closer to home because in education, we are all about making those connections. Here’s a guy just living his life, but creates connections via social media, meets up with another guy to make a difference in real life (the man in the video, Dylan, his YouTube channel can be found here.
So, why being human? Because we need it. We need to see the good that we do and we need to see that good others do too. The blinders get put on, we go from home to work to home without recognizing the beauty, both man made and natural, that surrounds us. If we can’t see beyond our work and home problems, it’s hard to see everything else that makes us special. We need to see our co-workers and create those face to face connections. We need to continue to make connections with our students, they need us in the here and now too. We as teacher put a human face on so many topics, sometimes, we forget to take care of ourselves in the process.
So, have a look at the YouTube channels if the mood strikes you, but more than that, make eye contact with someone. Smile. Be encouraging. And be you.
Know that you are the only you on this planet, and that you do matter! 🙂