That said, I am learning a lot of new things between my two classes. The hardest part is keeping them separated and remembering which article went to which class! Sometimes they are vastly different, but there have been a few overlaps.
I really, really like this book (I may have mentioned this before). So, for all of you who are not privy to the class discussion page, here is my take on this week's reading:
I totally relate to finding YouTube valuable. There are so many resources there, from exercise videos, to how to build something, how to grow or make something, and many, many, classroom and teaching related videos. I have 43 subscriptions, and probably 100+ playlists of things I’ve found useful.
I really love when he talks about how “Don’s kindness taught me about being open and wanting to make other teachers more effective through collaboration.” I don’t know how many times as a young teacher I listened with one ear to the advice that was shared by others. And now, I know just how valuable that advice and mentoring can be. I am not a team person, I do not like to talk to people, I do not like to work with other people…I was the kid who, when we got group assignments in school, would just put my head down and end up doing all the work for the group, because it was easier that way. But, I do know the value of collaboration, and how incredibly empowering and knowledge increasing it can be. Maturity has taught my introverted self that it’s okay to ask questions and volunteer my ideas, it’s okay to work together. Yes, “iron sharpens iron.”
Recently, I collaborated with another teacher across the country to teach our classes how to debate. Neither of us had any experience or knew anything about it, so we looked up rubrics, rules for debating, and watched a lot of YouTube videos, which we shared with each other. We decided not to make it a competition, but a learning experience for all of us. Our kids took the information and ran with it, and they did a phenomenal job of presenting their opposing arguments and rebuttals over Google Hangouts. All in all, it was a great experience, and I learned a lot more by working with her, than by pitting myself against her.
I do have to say, I am much more comfortable with Facebook than Twitter, and I have numerous groups on Facebook for both personal and professional reasons where I enjoy communicating in depth with various friends, family, and other educators. Twitter is challenging for me to follow and disseminate the information that I actually want. However, it’s also been a learning experience, and I am growing, even if I don’t always like it J. I’ve just started on Instagram, and I definitely don’t have the hang of it, but it’s handy to see what my own children are up to online (my personal kids, not spying on my students), and there are some neat photos there. I love Pinterest. I have an addiction, and I am not afraid to admit I have more Pinterest boards than I care to count about as many different things as you can imagine. Lots and lots of ideas and information there!