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The challenge of sharing what you do, even if it seems inconsequential and worthless to you, is fundamental to education practice. When I began writing about the work I was doing in my classroom, I was responding to a need to process what I was experiencing with using technology with students, and encouraging them to do the same. The writing came about because it seemed perfectly natural to write about students and their work.

The “model” I followed for writing came from reading books like Nanci Atwell’s “In the Middle,” one of the main books that guided my approach to establishing Writing Workshops (reading, too) in my classrooms over the years. Yet, I find Nanci’s writing also served as a model for me to follow when *I* began writing articles for publication. My first paid published article was The Bilingual Technologist, although the editor of the magazine changed it significantly. I later published it in its original form online.

When I would encourage other educators to write about their experiences, I frequently encountered, not so much a reluctance to write, but an awareness that their work was even worth writing about and sharing. For a writer, EVERYTHING is grist for the mill…no subject is off the table for the right writing project. But for non-writers, whether they engage in the physical act of writing or not, there is what we do to live and survive economically and nothing much else.

I appreciate the Blogging About the Web 2.0 blog entry cited below, but to be blunt, this is a phenomenon that I’ve observed for years. While everyone has something to share, not everyone has the courage to do so…and may even look down on those who do, although I’ve often found them to be complimentary.

Like the blogger below, I encourage educators to share their experiences as they happen. The process of reflection–research shows–is what makes the difference in your teaching and learning practice. Whether you call it action research, journaling, whatever, take the time to reflect on your practice and try new, different things…and share the experience with others. I see writers as leaders because writing challenges you to reconceptualize what you are doing, to reach out to others. That kind of leadership isn’t about charisma, but about capturing what is most precious in an experience and helping it find root in the hearts of others.

I was sitting in a meeting recently about the new evaluation standards for teachers and the question was asked to the group about how they are leaders in the classroom. Keep in mind there are some awesome teachers in this group that do amazing things with kids and in the school. If anyone observed them would say they were models of teacher leadership. When asked how they modeled leadership in their classroom and/or school no one responded. Why? No one spoke up about themselves. There were plenty of examples given of other teachers in the building that exemplified leadership qualities but no one, not a soul, said anything about themselves.

So I ask? What is the big deal with being a teacher-leader? Meaning, why, when asked, are teachers so afraid to say how awesome they really are. And to go further, why, do most refuse to talk about the awesome things they are doing with kids?
Source: Blogging About the Web 2.0


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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