When I began this blog, almost two years ago, my goal was to post at least once a week. That didn’t last long. I was also starting a new job at the time and I overestimated my stamina. The job and the other commitments I have to various education organizations and to my family kept posting to this blog at the bottom of my to-do list. When I started this blog, I thought I would use it to reflect on my work, ponder new ideas, and occasionally share a resource or two. It’s time to get back to that.
Although I haven’t kept this blog up, I have been blogging. This year I began co-teaching a semester-long Digital Literacy class for high school freshmen. In this class we use blogs and blogging as a foundation for teaching reading, writing, and other forms of digital communication. I started a blog as a model for my students the first semester, and I’ve carried it over to the second semester‘s class. I’ve been writing, but for a different audience.
I’ve often said that the most effective teachers are also the most reflective teachers. I have not been modeling that well. I believe I have been reflecting on my work, and I’ve shared those reflections verbally with trusted colleagues, but I haven’t been committing it to writing. For me, writing actually aids my thinking, and I know I should do it more often.
I want to get back to writing for the audience this blog was intended for – teachers and other technology integrators. While my idea of posting once a week may have been overly ambitious, I think I can manage some regular posting.
I’m not ready to give up yet. It’s time to start again.
For the past nine years I’ve been an integration mentor for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). I traveled across the state meeting with middle school and high school teachers and leading workshops for them. I also created resources and provided some online learning opportunities to help teachers refine their practice using technology to meet the ever changing needs of their students.
In those nine years I learned a great deal about leadership, facilitation, communication, collaboration, workshop design, resource creation, and all other aspects of professional development. In short, I learned how to teach teachers. I use the word “teach” in its broadest sense because I believe teaching goes far beyond mere instruction. I could use words like “coach” or “facilitate” because that is often what I do, but I also model, assess, advise, commiserate, build relationships and, yes, sometimes I instruct.
While I draw on all my teaching experience when I’m working with them, I’ve come to realize that there’s a different dynamic to teaching teachers. It’s not exactly like teaching young children or adolescents and it’s different from traditional adult education. When I’m working with teachers, they are my students, but they are still my peers.
I recently left my position with MLTI but I will continue to provide some professional development in my new job as a K-12 technology integrator. I’ve started this blog as a place for me to reflect on my work, to ponder new ideas, and occasionally to suggest tools and resources for teachers. I hope you will join the conversation and share your thoughts and ideas with me and my readers.