For the better part of a year, I have strongly believed that we should endeavor to get as many teachers connected(in some way) as possible. Doing this is important, and here is why:
To me, being connected means we share, collaborate, learn, and reflect through the relationships we have built. We take all of the wonderful support and resources that are readily at our disposal and we find ways to transform them into better learning opportunities for our kids. By engaging in and developing those relationships, we make ourselves both better educators and better people. Being connected is this incredible revelation for myself and many others which I have at times compared to being unplugged from the Matrix.
So many of education’s thought leaders are readily available for us to question, learn with, and grow alongside. Why is it, that the average teacher/administrator is not a part of this? What keeps them from being connected?
When I first became a connected educator I found myself relentlessly eager to spread the word. I had seen the light and soon I would help save others! I have learned much since those days. I recently shared that story and my reflections on what I see as a divisive attempt to push connectedness with CUE. What I was left with at the end of my musings was an important question:
How do we expand the pockets of connected educators? How do we reach those that have not “seen the light”?
The truth is, I am not sure. I am hoping to draw on the wealth of knowledge from intelligent, creative people. I am looking for answers, and not the kind that come from the stockpile. The reality is, we are very much the minority in education.
We are the few, making decisions and setting trends for the many. I want the voices of the many, and I want new ways to engage them. I am no longer content to be a candle, burning brightly in the dark (admitting I stole that phrase from a favorite Sci-Fi novel: Spinward Fringe).
This week Justin Schleider has been kind enough to lend me his platform of #SlowChatPE to discuss this important topic. Please be prepared to come up with your best ideas, even if they are only ideas. Those of you that have been in chats I have moderated know I will not take a canned answer. Be ready to expand, to think, to have me push back the way many often do. Here are this week’s questions. Please take time to think and share. Finding ways to get more educators to share, collaborate, learn, and grow should be of paramount importance to education leaders everywhere.
Monday: Q1- How did you find the right way for you to be connected?
Tuesday: Q2- How does being connected translate into better teaching and learning in your classroom/school? Give specific examples.
Wednesday: Q3- “Show them” is ALWAYS the answer: How have you used being connected to help someone else improve their classroom?
Thursday: Q4- How can being a connected educator have negative effects on your teaching?
Friday: Q5- What can we gain from being connected to people outside education?