I began this summer connecting to some amazing educators, Reuben Hoffman @reubenhoffman, and his friend Dave Burgess @burgessdave, who is another social studies teacher, author of Teach Like a Pirate and a educational speaker. I don't want to slight anyone who I have met or learned from this summer, but the list of incredible educators is too long for my introduction. I just wanted to mention the people who helped get me started.
The journey started with much trepidation and angst as I jumped into the world of Twitter. I had very little previous knowledge or understanding of Twitter, other than it was something my students couldn't seem to live without. But there I was on Twitter and trying to navigate in this foreign world. I found my first chat #sschat, then #edchat, and then #tlap, and the list goes on. I watched as hundreds of tweets flowed past me on the screen. I favorited posts that I liked, or had links I could use later. I eventually got over my fear and started to tweet. I added people to follow, engaged in conversations, and learned.
The amazing educators I met recommended books to read, so I read Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker @ToddWhitaker and am still working through Essential Questions by Grant Wiggins @Grantwiggins. I have read books in the past, but have never been able to converse with the authors and ask and have them answer my questions in real time.
An epic summer of learning, and I haven't even discussed all the technology resources I have been exposed to, must be followed by reflection. I wrote a few drafts of blog posts and pondered the idea of putting my random thoughts out there for all to see like I had something revolutionary to say. After talking to several other educators about blogging, and even reading Victoria Olson's @MsVictoriaOlson blog about starting a blog, I finally decided to jump in. I had for months looked at sites, opening an edublog, a blogger, a wordpress and of course a weebly account. So back to why I found a need to add another blog out there. Again after reading other's blogs and thinking about it, I realized the blog isn't about anyone else but me.
I am not blogging because I think I have a magic pill to change education or reach every student. I am not blogging because I think I know more than anyone else, in fact I come to realize on a daily basis how little I really do know. I didn't start blogging for so many reasons, but I did start blogging for one main reason. I started to blog simply because I needed a place to organize my thoughts and reflect on my practices. If someone reads this and finds something useful that would be amazing, but my goal is simply to discuss my journey this year, and to challenge myself to be a better teacher. I want to spend the next school year experiencing the rewards a passion filled classroom reaps. I want to see the connection to students I can make, and the areas I need to continue to develop. I have come to a place in my career where I know full well that I haven't done everything I need to be the educator I thought I would be. I realize that I need help in this endeavor and I created this blog to help me find my way.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela