Many teachers I meet are invisible teachers. I’m not talking about invisible teaching, where the teacher blends seamlessly into the classroom coaching students on their own journey of learning, but I’m talking about the way that a teacher shares the successes of their teaching and collaborates with like minded peers. Many fantastic teachers read about other’s ideas but end up not sharing their own, putting it down to a busy schedule and the thought that what I have been doing isn’t really that special.
Teachers are often exhausted at the end of the day, full of thoughts of the next exciting lesson or how to give feedback in a meaningful way to their students. However, we must take time to share our lessons and reflect on the risks that we take. We learn this at university. So how do we do this in a meaningful way, and in a way that allows us to connect with other like minded professionals? To learn and grow ourselves as teachers?
Enter technology. Advances have allowed people to access information faster, filter the vast amounts of information available, and most importantly easily connect with others. Now, our networks can extend beyond the schools in the local area, or those we might meet at a professional development day. Now, our networks and professional development can be catered towards us, and be delivered consistently. Most recently, one of the comments that came out of ISTE 2014 was “Don’t wait for someone to create PD for you. Create the PD you deserve.” (Jennie Magiera). So, why not make the most out of the online environment to engage in the professional discussions that evolve?
George Courous adds to this discussion by emphasising the importance of such connections, providing opportunities to connect, see and learn from one another (G Courous http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4527). Living in Perth, it is a long way to travel to many of the world renowned conferences so technology is the best way to connect with other educators. Technology provides an opportunity to enhance interactions, we all need to take advantage of it to connect with brilliant educators.
Image from Wikimedia Commons