Made ya look!!
Sometimes, a title makes the blog doesn’t? 🙂
Ok, this is a conversation that we’ve had a number of times here at our school. We are a rural school, not much access to conferences or outside PD because of budget issues. We’ve started as a staff to buy into Twitter and other social media that help to feel more connected with those outside our district. When I first started Twitter, I was able to use #5thchat to feel more connected with other fifth grade teachers, as I was a singleton at the time. That chat helped me to grow both as a teacher and in my use of social media. As I’ve grown, our administration has taken notice of the social media craze, having us all get our own Twitter handles, working to be active and show how it can work. All in all, it’s worked to push us forward in our thinking. That part of the conversation continues as more of our staff is connected, sharing information, and seeing the value of social media in education.
However, the conversation has changed just a little bit. Lately, we’ve noticed that we are struggling to keep up, period. Keeping up with technology, keeping up with math, keeping up with literacy, just keeping up with the various topics in education. We continue pushing forward with our PD, working with AIW (authentic intellectual work), and our grade level/department PLC meetings. And yet, we see pictures, videos, snap chats, Instagram posts, and so forth about this Makerspace, cool classroom learning designs, mystery Skypes, and on and on! We talk about how defeating it can be getting on line and seeing all these things.
Just like with our students, it is so easy to get caught up in that “wow, I’m terrible” mentality when you see so much progress being made around you. I know I’m not very good right now. I’m teaching three times the students as I had last year, I’m working with new standards, and I’m finding keeping up with the grading is a nightmare. My hope, as I continue to teach 8th graders, that I get better with my new curriculum/standards. This summer, in between trips to Ames and the fair and the pool, I’m hoping to flesh out more of what I’d like to do with my upcoming students. I hope to “catch up” with some of the technology pieces that have fallen along the side of the road.
So, do I stink as a teacher? Debateable. Am I as bad as I think? Probably not, we are our own worst critic. Do I need to stop looking at social media and comparing the “perfect” classroom to my own? Goodness yes!