Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Putting My Toes In

I am reminded of my feelings about 10 years ago. I had just completed my 2nd year of teaching and was looping up to 3rd grade with my current 2nd graders. I knew we had the high stake test ahead of us and I wanted to know how to teach them to comprehend. I didn't want another year of worksheets and drill, drill, drill of the skills. I knew when I personally finished reading a book I wasn't reaching over to write down the causes and effects or looking for the main idea. I was comprehending...and I wanted to know, how do I pass that kind of learning to my students? So...I went in search of. I continued to hear about a book, Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Keene. So, I picked up my first professional read and dove in. It made so much sense...I read it and realized all the things I did (and didn't do) as a reader to comprehend. I still wasn't sure how to take this and bring it to the classroom.

I began to search. I did not find anyone in my immediate network who knew what I was talking about...and didn't seem interested in reading it. At least not yet. So...I went online.

I found a whole new network of teachers. I joined a yahoo group called mosaic teachers. I went online to Teacher Net and chatted every week with teachers online in a group called Professional Readers. We joked and called each other "imaginary" friends. But I learned...A LOT!!! I could not have grown or became the teacher I was without them. I was introduced to other books and loved sharing what was happening in my classroom. We shared lessons, and children's books. I did eventually meet a few of them in person. It changed me and grew me as a teacher.

So, now here I am again. Seeking out in the online community, looking to learn and grow alongside others. It has changed a bit in the last 10 years. Now teachers are blogging, creating products and selling them....and tweeting. I have been trying to blog. Not going too well....yet! I keep wanting to improve. I haven't found my audience yet, and who wants to write and not be read. Not me.

I am not a creator of products. I do buy some and read blogs. But that is very one sided. I want to dig deep, have conversations.

I kept hearing that twitter is the best professional development out there. In fact, our PE teacher has been telling me all year. I have had a twitter account for a while, and just wasn't getting it.

This summer I created a new account, totally educationally geared. I have experienced a few chats. I am enjoying it. It isn't the same deep conversations I found ten years ago. I am hoping it will lead me there. Twitter is so fast, and the limited characters means limited "talk". But, I am putting my toes in, feeling the water. Not ready to swim yet....but I am curious what's out there. How about you? What can you tell me or share with me?