I got this idea from my Twitter friend, @lasic, and am stealing it, because it is so good. He is making a list of all of the people that he is grateful for this year. I am simplifying that to merely review the major categories that have made my life rich this year. My mother always told me to count my blessings, to remember that even in the midst of trials and stress, there is much to be thankful for in this world. An End of the Year List is a good start. For the purpose of this blog, I will stick to its focus on Middle School teaching in a 2.0 world.
1. My most basic appreciation – the internet and its ability to link people from around the world. When I post on this new blog or tweet on Twitter, people all over respond. I am not limited by my own knowledge or abilities. I can ask questions or pose new ideas, and those who know the answers or have an opinion respond. The more connected that I become, the wider and richer my world has become.
2. Twitter and all of the amazing people who are now in my PLN: I never knew there were so many people passionate about enriching the loves of students. The dialogue that goes on every day, every minute, among the people I follow on Twitter has changed my way of thinking. I am constantly learning and growing from what is posted there. Three cheers for #edchat especially! When people are willing to take time to share their ideas and ask their questions, we all become the lifelong learners that we want to be. I have experimented with new strategies partly due to the support of the people in my PLN. If it works, they cheer; if it doesn’t, they reflect with me on how to make it better.
3. Springside School – I teach at a school where I am encouraged to experiment with new technology in my classroom, where any new idea that will help the girls is supported. The Administration believes in using technology to expand the learning and successes of every student. They support the education of the faculty, so that we can incorporate new strategies in our classrooms. We also have the most amazing Tech team, who simply solve any and all problems and help me to bring my fledgling ideas to reality.
4. My students – They so willingly go on this adventure with me. They experiment and engage in collaboration with enthusiasm and interest. Their feedback helps me to figure out what is working and what still needs development. I think they find it slightly amusing that their 55 yr. old teacher knows more about 2.0 tools than they do.
5. My family – They all are getting used to the new world that I inhabit and enthusiastically cheer me on. My son tried following me on Twitter, but decided to stop since all I tweet is about education and technology…not his subject of choice.