TIRED TEACHER NEEDS TO BE INSPIRED
The blog title sounds like a want ad, doesn’t it? I am a tired teacher who needs to be inspired. Aren’t we all? Working with passionate people who love teaching and learning is one of the best ways to fill my tank with energy and ideas thus rejuvenating me no matter the time of year. Yesterday I spent the day with energetic and enthusiastic educators as a part of Paulding County TechEds. I was so into what I was doing that I forgot to slice, but I did blog, though, as part of TechEds at http://kidblog.org/class/techeds/posts (to view my blog as well as great ideas from TechEds teachers, check out our posts–type 123456 as the password).
Teaching K-12 teachers I have never met is a bit terrifying. Last week I was given that opportunity/challenge and invited to teach a group of teachers from a neighboring district teaching for the Kennesaw Mountain Wrting Project. My lesson was about infographics as a teaching and learning tool in the classroom; however, the delivery of my lesson was infused with tech tools. I’ve learned from my involvement with Paulding TechEds. I used Blendspace to house and present my content. I created an Infographic Symbaloo Webmix (a visual bookmarking site) to share links with teaching resources, sites for creating infographics, sources for quality infographics, and links for web tools used during the presentation.
I opened my lesson with a question about student/teacher attitudes for reading/teaching non-fiction using AnswerGarden. You may view the answers and submit your own here. Teachers explored ideas for using infographics in the classroom using a Thinglink I created using Kathie Schrock’s infographic about teaching using infographics. Then, I polled teachers using two digital assessment tools: Plickers and Formative. Teachers worked independently or with partners based on their needs (differentiation in staff development–I think they appreciated it).
At the end of my lesson, I closed by polling teachers using Today’s Meet about what they would use from the lesson/workshop. The teachers responded as much about the digital delivery and tools they would use as they did about using infographics as learning and teaching tools.
Following the presentation, one of the teachers came up to me and said, “From all the lessons over the past two weeks, I got the most out of this because I know I will use it right away. Thank you.”
Following that the facilitator for KMWP Area 2 (also the site director) said, “Thank you for what you said at the end of the lesson. That was powerful, and something teachers need to hear.”
Here is the gist of what I said at the end of my lesson:
I have taught for 18 years, and what I have found is that I need to continue to seek out ways to rejuvenate myself. A few years ago, I was a fellow for a KMWP Summer Institute, and that rejuvenated me and inspired me–yes, you could say I drank the Kool-aid. This past year I worked with TechEds. I couldn’t have used all the tech tools I used today without it. TechEds also inspired me as I worked alongside techy teachers as we struggled, learned, and celebrated together.
As teachers, we have to continue to seek out new ways to be inspired and engaged. I applaud you all for being here this summer, for taking time out of your summer to learn and grow. Right now I know you may be more tired than inspired, but as the summer continues think about all that you took away from this experience, and let it fuel you next fall. If we as teachers aren’t engaged and inspired, our students aren’t engaged and inspired. Continue to find what will rejuvenate you, so that you can give kids what they deserve and so that you can be passionate about what you do.
I’m not usually an inspirational speech giving teacher, but sometimes the words are needed. And I could tell on that day, some tired teachers needed to be inspired. Alas, perhaps I was one of them. In fact, perhaps I am always that tired teacher seeking inspiration.
Yes, here I write and continue to blog–I suppose this is its own digital direction in differentiation. And, I know that you, my fellow bloggers and my fellow educators, continue to inspire me and meet me right where I am. As we slice with Two Writing Teachers, we definitely celebrate the NWP concept of teachers teaching teachers. Thank you for all your words and all your support and for remembering that we are all tired teachers seeking inspiration.