Saturday, November 9, 2013
Should I Be Less Connected?
I have come to love social media. I enjoy discovering what Matt Gomez is doing with his kindergartners and what challenging thoughts Teacher Tom will bring me. I try to keep up with all the thoughts (and good natured ribbing) flying through #kinderchat and wonder again how John Spencer seems to be writing what I am thinking about (but much more coherently).
I gather ideas from a multitude of blogs and Twitter links. I lurk on Pinterest from time to time. (I still haven't joined - I'm afraid of what that will do to me.) I am so grateful for the inspiration and challenge and thoughts.
And that's the problem.
I see all the great ways that teachers are engaging their students. All the wonderful activities that are tied to standards and creativity and the most up-to-date technology that I have just heard about. I drop info into my Evernote notebooks and create bookmarks to all kinds of things.
And I look at my class and my teaching. I see so much less.
I look back at this week. I think someone distilled the "full moon effect" and put it in the water of my students' neighborhoods. We were turned up a notch this week.
And I've been so tired. Working on lesson plans and working on stuff for my university class (that seems to be taking sooo much more time this semester). So my edge has been honed this week.
I see the super teachers achieving and I see me...well...not so much. And I ponder and I wonder and I begin to think that, maybe, I'm not the teacher I think I am.
Time disappears. My kids don't seem to progress as they should. My class cannot compare to what I see as a connected, online educator.
I love being connected to other teachers. I love learning new things and thinking new thoughts. But the temptation is to compare and come up short. Someone, I think it was Jon Acuff*, said to not compare your regular self to someone's (online) best self. Many times bloggers post what works and how it works. Their posts may not show an overall picture of their classes. (At least I'm hoping they have crazy days, too.)
So I'm thinking I may need to back off of reading 1,005 blog posts every week and comparing those ideas to my class. It's only my second year in a mid-life career change. And, two weeks after school started, I was moved to a new school and new grade level.
My class is loud and rowdy. I'm working to keep us on track. I'm learning that a fast pace and some independent center work keeps things humming. And that losing control of my patience doesn't yield the best results.
So...I may not read every blog post and tweet. I may not comment or post as much as I may have in the past. I may love your idea and save it but not think about it again until year 3 or 4 or 5. (I'd like to think I'm in for the long haul.) If I'm not online, don't worry. I'm probably taking a nap.
[[*Jon, if you read this and it is your quote, please let me know and I'll modify this post for proper attribution. And, if you're not Jon and this is your quote, let me know and I'll change it, too.]]