So this past Friday I presented at a regional TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers) conference here in Quito, with over 1000 educators on hand to learn, to network, and to share their educational expertise with each other. It was a huge event and very well organized, all revolving around how to use innovative teaching practices to engage and inspire students…and to dig deep into some progressive approaches and strategies, which will ultimately enhance student learning. I walked away feeling energized and encouraged by the sheer number of teachers willing to present their progressive views, and it got me thinking about the educational responsibility that we, as educators, have to contribute…and to share!
It got me thinking about about what Dean Shareski says about The Moral Imperative of Sharing, and also about one of my favourite books recently by Bob Johansen and Karl Ronn, titled The Reciprocity Advantage. You see, as teachers, it is very easy to hide away in isolation and to keep our professional knowledge to ourselves. Traditionally that’s the way it was, and historically, teaching became viewed as a very private and possessive profession…classroom silos cut off from the world…not to mention cut off from from our own colleagues. Well, that’s not the case anymore thankfully, as more and more educators from all around the world are sharing, taking risks, and contributing publicly to this paradigm shift in education…and it’s awesome.
It is now an expectation…no, a responsibility that we all have to write, to blog, to post, to tweet, and to share our thoughts, our expertise, our successes and failures, and our collective knowledge about what is working for students and for schools. We are now learning from each other in a very global sense, and I feel privileged to be a part of this incredibly exciting time in education. It has never been easier to professionally develop ourselves, and it’s never been easier to gather feedback from educators from the four corners of the world. Schools are now partnering together for the betterment of our kids, and sharing data around what’s been working for them…it’s open source and a powerful way to get back more than you give. Like I said, it’s an exciting time and very much the expectation in this day and age…so, where are you in all of this? Are you sharing your thoughts? Are you tweeting out interesting articles? Are you blogging about what’s working in your classroom? Are you videotaping your successes and posting them for all to see…or your failures? How are you contributing to the progressive movement of our profession? If you’re not, then it’s certainly time to start…don’t you think?
We have an educational responsibility to learn from each other and to share…it’s that simple. I’m challenging you all this week to look critically at this, and to see where there might be ways for you to share more of yourselves and your effective practices. We all have something to share, and together we can move our profession forward…the best part about sharing however, which cannot be overstated, is the fact that you end up getting more back than you put out. Put yourself out there to the world and watch how the world will respond…there’s no better way to grow as an educator in my opinion. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week….
Everything good that I know was taught to me by great teachers and I feel like giving back and sharing the technique is the thing to do – Betty Buckley
The Reciprocity Advantage
The Moral Imperative of Sharing