In celebration of connected educator month, this post is specifically for the Week 1 Challenge: What It Means to be a Connected Educator.
When I was a little girl, I had a nightmare. In it, I was a grown woman on a small, square raft, afloat in the middle of the ocean at night. It was very scary. Eventually, I could see a giant ship, and I was afraid it would run me down (I'd seen The Poseiden Adventure - those giant propellers!). I shouldn't have worried, though, because an enormous great white shark burst from the water and swallowed me whole, raft and all.
Sometimes, teaching can be like being alone on a raft in the middle of nowhere, and the pressures of
Being a connected educator is like salvation for a teacher drowning in the morass of secondary pressure. At first, it may seem like just another insurmountable item to check off your daily to-do list, but I described it today like so: twitter is like a river, always moving; it is not static, like facebook, where a post will politely sit on your homepage until you respond to it. no - twitter is full of life, and will pass you by if you're going to sit on the sidelines! but if you come prepared in your togs with your towel, and jump in and have a play, you will soon find yourself surrounded by others who engage with you. And unlike the fella sitting on the bank wondering why no one wants to play with him, you have, by the single step of jumping in, made yourself a part of something. Discovered a place where you are not alone, that there are others like you, and discovered, also, a river of another kind: knowledge. Twitter is awash with nifty ideas, links to resources and
tools, and friendship.
And it's not just Twitter. Once you've opened that door and started embracing what's out there in the online world, it's almost like Charlie entering the Chocolate Factory! So much stuff! Sitting down at my computer is like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. I am filled with the same excitement and wonder, every day! Between social bookmarking, professional groups, and online PLNs, I find I am not alone - far from it! I benefit from being a connected educator, and so do my students. They get a teacher who feels rejuvenated, who is keen to try things with them, who offers the opportunity to do things differently, in a new way.
Remember, YOU are not alone! Become a connected educator. You won't regret it.