I know many teachers who are concerned with the idea of having an online identity. Their discomfort is such that they attempt to keep their digital footprints as small as possible. I’m aware that I need to remind myself that some teachers haven’t had enough time to spend thinking about this issue, and so they’re not aware of a lot of the fear-mongering that exists in the public and also within our profession. They also have legitimate concerns that could be addressed, in many cases through some conversation and practice.
But before teachers buy in to web 2.0 they need to see the benefits. The need to see these benefits so they’re willing to weigh the risks. So I plan to make one of my professional goals to model effective use of web 2.0 with my students and in my professional practice.
Another thing that I find helpful is using this analogy:
There are a lot of dangers that I risk when I chose to drive my car. I could get into an accident. I could hurt someone else. I could get lost and not be able to find my way home. I could drive to the mall and spend all my money on cute shoes (okay, some risks are greater than others). But I still get in the car because it’s an effective way for me to get from point A to point B. It makes it easier for me to get to work, and I can go to the mall to buy cute shoes (Many of my analogies include shoes). I know a lot of things that I can do to help reduce my risk when driving and I do those things. I’m not prepared to give up driving my car because of the risks associated with it.
I intend to keep this brief, but I just really don’t understand why some people think it’s socially acceptable to bash another person’s profession based on their very limited and perception of what that person’s job entails.
I would never presume to understand what an engineer, a tool and die maker, a lawyer, a roofer, a doctor, or police officer’s job entails based on my limited interactions with them. So why is it that because everyone was once a student, they believe they understand what teachers do for a living.
I only write this after spending my entire day in my steamy office working on lesson plans and course outlines and then reading a rather passive aggressive response to an article I posted on my Facebook page. I read this article by Sarah Fine about why she quit teaching, and commented that I found it a bit of a bummer and got the following response from an old high school friend:
I can think of many comments, the nicest one is that be glad you teach in Ontario. the rest aren’t so nice
I’m not sure that I’ll ever understand that. Here’s my response:
Oh believe me, I AM glad I teach in Ontario–or Canada at least. I promise you, you will never find a “gosh it sucks to be a teacher” comment on my facebook page. I just hope you’re not making assumptions about how hard I work or how much I care about the job I do based on what you know about how some other teachers do their jobs. Don’t judge until you walk a mile in my stylish shoes. Actually, I’d like to see you walk in six inch heels. That would rock!
(I should probably clarify the shoe comment by adding that my old high school pal is a man)
Feeling a little brain dead after this unit, so I’m not going to provide much of a rationale except to say that this is a continuation of the previous unit in that students will be continuing to explore the issues and themes from their book clubs. The focus is on the writing strand, but there is also a media creation component. I just wanted to also add that these are not the lesson plans. These plans are to lesson plans as essay outlines are to final essays. They will change and evolve over time. I haven’t even met my students yet so how do I know exactly what they will need to learn! ENG4Cunit3
A lot of people have asked me about my “career path”, and most of them are surprised that my answer doesn’t include getting into administration. They often seem a little deflated as though administration is obviously the ultimate goal for any ambitious, moderately capable teacher.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very impressed by the obvious work ethic, ambition, self-confidence, and determination of those young administrators out there (and the not so young ones, Dad). I’ve met many of them and I’m convinced they’re in it for the right reasons and they feel very strongly about their abilities to impact student achievement. I just don’t think that that’s the only way to have an impact in education.
I haven’t completely figured out what I want to be doing as a teacher ten years from now, but I do know that it will involve being in the classroom. I’d like to do my masters, I’d like to write, do some action research. . . . I have lots of ambition, and to prove it, here is my ultimate goal: I want to be a exemplary teacher. I want to be a rock star among teachers. I want to be the kind of teacher about whom other teachers will say “Oh, go ask her. She’s an awesome teacher.” I want to be a really good teacher.
Quite frankly, I don’t think it gets more ambitious than that.