Friday, January 27, 2017

The EduAwesomeness of Teachers

I came into the world of #Edtech in 2011. Of course, I had been using technology with my students for a few years before that, but 2011 was when I discover Twitter for educators. As many of you know, this opened a whole new world of awesome! 
I discovered that there were passionate people out there who felt as I felt about education, technology, and bring students to the center of learning. Seeing, connecting, and sharing with those like-minded moved me to my core. In fact, I became slightly obsessed with Twitter. So much so, my husband had to remind me that he was sitting next to me! 

Twitter was only the beginning. Being connected opened my eyes to exciting conferences, new opportunities, and pushed me to continually be updated on education and its trends. Now I write, share, connect, try things, fail often, seek the passions of my students, bring students to the center of their learning, and model my love of learning.

So what brought me to connect with other passionate educators? 

Simple. We all hold similar traits. These traits bring us together, cause us to advocate for our students, and push us to continue learning, growing, and take risks in our classrooms.

Being collaborative is what brings us, educators, together. We want to discuss, share, debate, learn, and connect. We have a need to share, gather, and discover new ideas. We want input on our lessons, classrooms, and overall design. We have a need to present those ideas at conferences, workshops, platforms big and small. We collaborate to help; to help our colleagues and our students. We are connected!!

Student Centered
Gone are the days of direct instruction. I am not saying there isn't a time and place for such, but when you have learning student-centered, students learn so much more! We know that learning takes place better when students lead. Technology has made it so that the teacher is no longer the keeper of knowledge. Students can now lead the path, research and share in discussions, and able to find solutions to issues that arise.

Risk Takers
Teachers aren't always viewed as risk takers, but there are many of us who push the limits and ask forgiveness later. We do what we need to reach our students; to do what's best for our students. We buck the system, not because we are disrupting maveriks. We buck the system because we know better is out there. We know we need to bring xyz to our students. We need to bring the curriculum to life. We need to enhance the curriculum. We need to expose students to the world and bring learning true to life. We attempt things that may or may not work. We celebrate those failures and learn from them. And when learning is successful, we rejoice in its triumph. 

All teachers are adaptive But what makes Edtech teachers truly adaptive is that we will not be pigeon held. We are pirates, mavericks, and as mentioned, risk takers. We take the curriculum we are given and add, subtract, teach and reteach in ways that our students need. No one class is the same. No one lesson is ever taught the same. We add videos, projects, links, act out scenes, sing, laugh, play games, etc as needed to reach our students. Every day, every period is a new adventure. And you know what? We RELISH and LOVE it. 

Life-Long Learner
This seems obvious, but I know many teachers that do not continue to learn and grow their craft. They are given curriculum and carry on. The teachers that are life-long learners are the ones leading EdTech. We want to continue to learn and bring those ideas to the masses, students included! We take pride in learning about our content area; new technologies; in how other schools, states, and countries learn. We dive into learning about improving teaching strategies, integration, technologies, even what is "cool" in the world of our students to draw them in. We LOVE learning. We LOVE discovering new ideas and diving further into new ideas. Learning. Never. Stops.

If you do each of these things, GREAT! I am sure a great many of you are! 

If you're not, there is great news! YOU CAN BE! There is plenty of time to learn, share, and grow in this profession of ours! Education is not stagnant nor should educators be. Let's join together, learn together, grow together. After all, we are in this together. 

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