So often I hear teachers talk about the negative aspects of being a teacher right now. We complain about testing, our paychecks, and the attitudes of the students that we teach. The teacher's lounge is full of conversations about why we don't want to be at work, how soon we can retire, and what other opportunities might exist outside of teaching.
Since I have become a connected educator, I have come to the realization that teaching is where it's at right now. I know it sounds silly but hear me out. Below are three reasons that I am so excited to be an educator today and look forward to being in the classroom more and more each year.
Collaboration and Relationships - Because I am connected, I have had the opportunity to meet and connect with and learn from some of the most amazing educators on the planet. I have been able to find ways to reignite my passion for teaching, challenge my students, and make my classroom a place that we all want to be. Being connected makes it possible for me to learn all the time. I am able to read about educators that are trying new things, taking risks, and being the change in education. In doing so, I am motivated to step outside my comfort zone and do what is best for my students. I see my role as an educator differently than before.
Just this morning I was able to join Kevin Honeycutt's Periscope to hear Ginger Lewman's Keynote at Podstock. Even though I wasn't able to attend the event, I was still able to learn and experience a little piece of Podstock from my couch. Personalized learning is waiting for me every single day on Twitter, Periscope, Voxer, and Google+.
Connecting with the World - My classroom no longer revolves around me and my students. Because of technology and social media, we are able to share our work with the world as well as connect with outside experts to help us experience real world application. Skype and Google Hangouts make it possible to connect with people and give my students a chance to see how their learning can be applied in real world situations. This changes everything and makes the learning real.
Learning Outside the Classroom - Learning doesn't have to be limited to the classroom anymore. Tools such as Edmodo, Google Classroom, and Remind101 give me the ability to stay connected to my students and their parents throughout the summer. I am able to share things like Camp Google, DIY.org, and Camp Wonderopolis with them in an effort to encourage students continue to learn even when they are not at school.
We have even taken some of our field trips this summer that we were able to take throughout the school year. The student in this picture made a donation to the local humane society and was recently interviewed by a local magazine about her Genius Hour project and desire to help animals.
I can't help but be super excited about education right now. We have the ability to give our students the world as well as opportunities to experience learning by application. We are no longer confined to the four walls of the classroom. Encouraging them to be world changers, difference makers, and dream chasers gives me purpose. We are impacting the future and our jobs are meaningful. It's time that we start realizing how awesome it is that we get to do what we do every day! Being a teacher is where it's at and I am so glad to be a part of it all!