I’m two months into trying to become a “connected learner“, and tweeting, blogging, and 21st century teaching , in general, are all goals that I am currently trying to cram into my ever-shrinking free time. So here goes Round 2 of the education blog thing. Wish me luck.
I once kept a blog about my life. I had it for years in my early 20s, and updating it was the highlight of my morning. Now, I am trying to spice up my internet presence and make my digital footprint a bit more about my work and passion about teaching math. Movies and Maker’s Mark were interesting a decade ago (and still are, actually), but they take quite a backseat to my profession and my addiction to becoming better at what I do.
But why can’t I write about teaching math as often, and with as much passion, as I wrote about nothing a decade ago? Maybe I’m less self-involved. Or maybe I wake up at 4:30 and I just don’t have the time like I did in my 20s…
But I digress.
As I attempt to tweet and Link-myself-In, I am looking through this checklist of what a 21st educator is supposed to do and feeling a bit overwhelmed. If my only job was to teach, I’d be golden! But the age of the teacher/lecturer is one of the past, or one reserved for PhDs that work at the university level. That’s not me. I have to update online assignments. I have to sign up on a google doc for a test day. I have to post notes and solutions online, and make sure that I communicate with students who are absent (or their parents). I have to read and respond to email. I have to attend real and virtual meetings, and even lead some of my own. I have to design lessons that engage all students – the visual learners, the hands-on learners, the auditory learners – simultaneously. At the end of the day, I have to update my class websites and make sure that what was accomplished in-class is preserved digitally for all of my sleepy students to reference. And on top of it all, I have to retain some semblance of being an adult, with actual human interactions with people that are over the age of 18, for at least 1 hour per day.
So how do I become a 21st century educator with all of this on my plate?
Luckily, I think I’m already on my way.
Being a 21st century educator is, from what I can tell, not too different from what I am currently balancing, albeit sometimes poorly. The key component that I need to work on, however, is collaboration. And by collaboration I mean a relationship that entails more than me “borrowing” a Harvard professor’s Multivariable Calculus notes from his website.
I need to work with people (who know I am working with them), and to build relationships that are mutually beneficial. But what do I have to offer? What are my ideas? Right now, so much of our world is about forwarding and retweeting and hyperlinking and commenting. What about the initial thought? How do I become a thought leader?
Hopefully, I’ll get some clues soon. In the meantime, if I come across anything good, I’ll forward you the link.