That's what's different. We are limited, as educators, quite literally, by our own imaginations. I'm so excited to have an idea, think about it, and then incorporate it into a lesson and implement it immediately. We are only limited by our imaginations.
But then, I guess, it's not just our imaginations that limit us. It's fear, the unknown. Yes, it's also the very real analysis of whether what we're doing matters, is right, is best practice. Those things though are only time-limitations. They're not actual limitations that will keep us from jumping in with our ideas.
The biggest limitation is fear, whatever that looks like. Control? Chaos? Change?
Eleanor Roosevelt advocated that we do one thing a day that frightens us (not a direct quote). I have always admired her on so many levels, and I try to remind myself to get out of my comfort zone daily, but I don't always do that. The thing is, most people think of fear in the most concrete of terms, like I do. I'm afraid of heights, crowds, new-of late, doctors offices and hospitals.
I guess like anyone else I'm also afraid of change. Here's why I embrace this change with technology. It's not a change in the idea of best practice. It's the ideal of best practice.
I think most teachers like control. It's why we're good at what we do; we control a learning environment for precious learners. The thing is, we all like a different kind of control (thank goodness). I have always been a constructivist theorist, and so I have never wanted control over the learning modalities. I have always sought to have students make meaning from the process of looking for a page to the process of writing choice.
So, using technology excites me. Beyond words. My fears? Well, beyond crowds and amusement park rides (so you can picture that going to Disney World would be my worst-case scenario vacation), I fear letting the "what-if" negatives outweigh the "what-if" big picture promises.
This is why I am so lucky to teach here. Our district and community support moving forward into the now.
On an entirely different subject. Well, not an entirely different subject; this does have to do with our community here. My husband and I were supported by this community here in St.Vrain three years ago, with love, compassion, and financial assistance, with the creation of the first ever "Happy Smackah." We are so grateful to be able to be here, paying that love and support forward and onward. Our Happy Smackah Fun Run is on for May 10th 2014. Please visit: http://www.happysmackah.com.
And back to what is not changed with all the change technology has brought. Here is a picture of the end of my day today. At the end of class, I had about five students waiting to talk to me. I thought they had questions about the lesson. Two of them did. The other three wanted me to look to see if they had the steps to the triple jump right. Track started yesterday. Today, they wanted to jump around my classroom to see if they had the right steps. Later, a group of students found me to see if they could still help me with some schedules I was making. We sat around my desk. Talking, drawing on paper. Another student approached asking about a book recommendation.
Our heads are not so buried in our devices. Their minds are challenged, but they're still needing to move, run, jump and read. And they still want to help the teacher, because they are, after all, beings with heart.