I noticed the last publication of Educational Leadership was all about teacher driven professional development. I have not had time to really dig into the ideas yet, but it seems to make good sense. In our classrooms we are offering students choice as means of engagement, so why would we not do the same for teachers. In our school division we have made a baby step in a positive direction by allowing us to choose topics from our PD Hub as the focus of our professional development. I spent the morning listening to Will Richardson speak about connective writing. Although the podcast was a bit outdated, the ideas were not. It got me thinking about an article that was posted on Facebook yesterday titled, “Middle-School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take. There were many valid points in the article to consider, but it also made me feel like it was all or nothing and instead of encouraging a balanced approach.
I have noticed lately is an increase in the number of personal opinion articles about too much connectivity in our students lives. This might be true, but then again, most of the articles I have seen encourage parents and teachers to ignore the positives of the connectivity and not acknowledge the need to help our students navigate within our changing world and use the information in front of them in more positive ways. I certainly can buy into the idea limiting the time our students spend on social media and help them be able to find a balance between connecting online and off. I am aware of the negative side but I cannot buy into is ignoring the opportunities it affords our students.
As a teacher, I seek out very valuable professional connections and conversations that open my mind to the differences and similarities in our world. My online connections, yes by using the “evils” of social media, have helped me become more aware of world issues and how I can play a positive role as a global citizen. These connections have opened my mind to the thinking of others. They have helped me voice my opinions and have a place to share them in a risk free environment. They have allowed me to pursue my passions for education and the well-being of children with others that share my passions. They provide me with ideas to share with my staff and students to in turn open their thinking to ways that might better our world.
Of course, this is another “opinion based” article and this is only my opinion, but I have to ask…Why would I not want the same opportunities for my students?