You Can’t Be My Teacher!

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Me & Technology

Justin Tarte – Life of an educator…: 10 videos that will IGNITE a discussion – Part 2

Justin shared ten more videos on his blog and as I watched through them, I was struck by You Can’t Be My Teacher (Ironic that I can’t figure out how to make this a link, but I’ll keep trying.) I’ve seen videos with similar ideas, but this one struck a chord for me. Perhaps it is because I have been so hungrily reading and learning this past week in order to avoid becoming the teacher who can’t be his teacher or perhaps it is that as I left a comment for Justin, I realized that I had become that teacher.

When I began my teaching career in 1998, I was 33. Now, I was far from the average new teacher graduate because of my age and my desire to see and use technology in my classroom. I was far from a digital native, but I loved technology — so much so that I insisted on bringing technology into everything I could. Everything I learned was from the internet. My excitement was contagious and my Board responded by having me provide PD to other teachers.

I was enthralled with what could be done and my kids loved it. I had kids who would come by after school so they could work on their projects and I spent most lunches in a computer lab so kids could have extra time. It was easy; it was fresh; and I loved it! (I should probably tell you that I taught in a classroom across from a brand new computer lab. We had top of the line equipment because our school had just been rebuilt.)

It wasn’t until I responded to Justin yesterday that I recognized how far from that teacher I had now become. It wasn’t that I no longer had the interest or desire, but I’d allowed myself to become jaded. The technology in my school is no longer up to date. Until last year, we still had computers that could take floppy disks. Now, that may sound absurd, but it was true and what was even more absurd was that I allowed it to be my excuse for not using technology in my classroom!

What an epiphany for me as I wrote yesterday and how grateful I am for the incredible people who share their thoughts and their resources so I could have that awakening.

So, in one short week I’ve done a complete about face as a teacher who talked the talk, but no longer walked the walk of embracing and using technology in her classroom. Although I’m still off on medical leave, it won’t be long before I’m back at work and then I can put some of my plans into action. I will have my kids blog. I will teach my kids about Diigo, Dropbox, and Bitstrips. I know that that list will be much larger by April, but I am thrilled at what I’ve learned in one week. I can only imagine how much more I’ll learn in seven weeks!

In one week I’ve gone from technophyte to technolover and just yesterday when I retweeted Justin’s tweet and then shared another thought about digital textbooks with two colleagues in my Board, I received my first direct reply in Twitter and one of my colleagues told me I was just “a hair ahead of the curve”. What a compliment! I was thrilled and it was all because so many other educators have taken the time to share what they know and what they love. I hope that one day, I’ll be able to return what has been given to me so far, because it is exhilarating and I want to shout it from the rooftops, but for now, I’ll be content with sharing it here.

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