Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Teaching Shift: Becoming Better Teachers

This is my 15th year in the classroom. Wow.
During that time, as you know if you personally know me or have followed this blog very long, I have taught a lot of different subjects, in a variety of places, and at all levels.
And while some won't agree, and some will be offended, I believe that basically there are two types of teachers. Those that adapt and improve and those that refuse/choose not to adapt and get left behind.
This year in our school district, we have a line in the sand for teachers. No one says this and it is was made very clear that using our new technology tool was optional and all that, but I truly believe, that this will be a telling year for teachers and how an individual teacher sees the profession.
You see, we are implementing My Big Campus. This is a huge shift in teaching. My Big Campus is basically a safe facebook. It will be an awesome tool should a teacher want to use it as such. If nothing else, it will be a great way to communicate safely and effectively with parents and students.
But there are some teachers out there that are really scared and unsure. I'm sorry, but some of these were the same teachers that thought email wouldn't last. And some of these are teachers that are new to the profession and they don't see the value in it as they don't communicate with parents or as  I quote one newish teacher... he "just teaches in a gym."
I however, am excited about My Big Campus. I am excited that our district is choosing to be proactive and give teachers, students and parents a safe platform for communication. I like that if a student posts something inappropriate, as the teacher, I can address it. In fact, I have to address it.
Isn't this a much better format than a student posting something inappropriate for all the world to see on facebook? As teachers, this is what we are here for. To guide students THROUGH the mistake, not to keep them from making mistakes.
So here we are at another teaching shift. I'm adapting and learning and growing. And yes, I'm going to make mistakes, but I'd rather make a mistake because I was willing to try new things than make the mistake of burying my head in the sand.
The profession of teaching has changed dramatically in the last 15 years and I can't even begin to guess at what the next 15 will have in store, but I am excited and determined to become a better teacher each and every year!

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