What am I doing here? By here, I mean this place that is not really a place.
When a colleague suggested I join Twitter about a year ago, I looked at her and sighed. I’m not really into social media. Her argument was that it was a great way to make what happens in my classroom visible, to open the doors so to speak. She argued that it as a positive means of communicating with parents and an easy way to let administrators see into the things that happen in a class all of the times when they aren’t present. I somewhat reluctantly agreed that these were good arguments and took the plunge.
A few months later, the ExploreMTBos appeared on my horizon. I felt guilty just “taking” from other blogs. It felt a little like I was being that kid in class who just coasts on someone else’s work. I always hated it when someone did that. I decided I would give it a trial, to see how it went. I could always quit if it wasn’t for me. Honestly, I’ve come pretty close to doing just that a couple of times.
So, why have I stayed here?
I guess there are probably a number of reasons, but there are two that hold the truest.
- This place inspires me and pushes me to try new things. . When Sarah shared a post on Function Auctions (here ), it was an intriguing activity but there was more to it than that for me. There was an aha moment. “Oh, I could do this with proportional relationships” (something that is hard for my sixth graders) and the idea was so compelling that I spent the next two days making it. It wasn’t that I needed it in June. I just found the idea so intriguing that I wanted to do it. That pushed me to think about ways that I could revisit the idea for kids who didn’t completely “get it” so I made a card sort/game that probably would never have crossed my mind without Sarah’s post. That inspiration to think of new ways to do things to try to impact my students is powerful.
- I have been pushed to think in ways that I haven’t considered before. When I read Mark’s post (here) on Exit Cards, it stuck with me for two weeks. I found my self pondering it for a solid two weeks after reading it. It’s not that Exit Cards are new to me. I’ve used them as a regular part of my instruction for years. I create them to find out what I want to know about what my students know on an almost daily basis. I use the information that I get from them to inform my instruction. His post, though, made me stop and consider the question of what should I want to know and why should I want to know it. Was I asking the right questions? Were there other questions that I should be asking as well? That push to think more deeply about what I am doing will, I hope, help me to grow.
So, for now, that is why I find myself in this place that isn’t really a place.