Justin Tarte posted a question to all of us on his ‘Life of an Educator…’ Blog about why some teachers can sustain momentum to change (translation: Blogging, Tweeting, using PLNs, etc.) and others can’t.
I have a somewhat jaded response. I almost feel like I should apologize before I get down to business here, because this won’t be a love-fest for sustaining momentum. It’s 8:15 PM on Sunday night, and I just spent about 17 hours over the weekend grading labs and essays in order to finish quarter grades. It might be argued that I’d have less work to do this weekend if I wasn’t such a procrastinator, and there’d be a hint of truth in that accusation. However, there are only so many hours in the day from which to grab all of the following: classroom preparation, lesson prep, actual teaching, lunchtime or breaktime duty (supervision), parent emails, Moodle site updates, assessing homework/classwork/labs/exams/essays, and all the other things that go into a teacher workday. And the things that go AFTER a teacher workday, like meetings, attending student drama performances, attending Grade 10 Personal Project Presentations, attending Grade 5 PYP Exhibition Nights, Parent Conferences, band and choir concerts, sporting events, fashion shows, volunteer events with our service learning groups, weekend trips with the science department to scout locations for our Group IV Project, and myriad other events. True enough, these events don’t all happen on the same day, but lately it seems like they happen close enough together that it’s hard to find any consistent time for sustaining the momentum that Justin talks about. And all of this doesn’t even take into account my goal to have a personal life. Heck, my wife and son’s goal that I share my personal life with them!
So forgive my whining here. I just find that the time we are allowed in our normal workday doesn’t accommodate all of the responsibilities we often have in our jobs. That said, I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for anything. Being a teacher is the hardest job I’ve ever loved.
Alright, back to the question. How can we sustain momentum? I’m hoping to sustain my new-found enthusiasm for change by writing this blog on a regular basis. I’m hoping that I can create some ‘public’ accountability for my work as an educator. But what else can we do? I think if we can create pods of like-minded teachers within our own schools, we can have more informal “Have you tried this?” and “Have you seen this?” sharing sessions in the hallway and at the lunch table. Let’s share our ideas in our own schools, so that we can refine them and share them globally on our blogs and on Twitter. Imagine the possibilities…