Connected Educator Manifesto

I believe that it is impossible to be an “island” as a teacher.  We work with people all of the time, and there are so many amazing resources–both people and products–available to help.  Teaching is hard, but sharing and collaborating makes it more manageable and more fun.  We don’t have to recreate the wheel.

I believe that using technology is necessary and beneficial as a teacher.  We live in a connected world; our students live in a connected world; our classroom should be part of that connected world.  I can’t imagine lesson planning before the Internet, and communicating with parents has never been easier with email and other communicating apps.  There is so much technology that is good.

I believe that teachers teach because they love learning (among other reasons).  Learning is never over, and teachers hurt themselves and their students if they never try anything new.  We want our students to take risks and try new things; we need to walk the walk.

I believe that professional development should also be personal, and with technology, that has never been easier.  There are articles, podcasts, blogs, webinars, online courses, MOOCs…the possibilities for professional development are endless.  Don’t just let your administration tell you what to learn; be in charge of your own learning.

I believe that teachers should never let themselves get complacent.  Every year is new, every class is new, every student is new, every day is new.  No matter how many times you’ve taught a specific grade or lesson, look at it with a different perspective.  What can change? What can improve? What should stay the same? Use your PLN to help you enhance every lesson to make it the best fit for your class.

I believe that teachers don’t need to be tech gurus, but they need to be willing to try.  Everyone starts as a novice, and you never know what tool you will discover that will completely change the way you teach.  Don’t be scared; just get in there and try something new.

I believe that teaching is hard, and we are never satisfied with what we do.  Our best lessons are followed by the worst lessons; our worst lessons lead to amazing teachable moments.  Allow yourself to fail and learn from it; reflect on what worked and what didn’t and what you want to change in the future.  Think of this failure as a first attempt in learning.

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