First, all of my NCTE posts are done! I just need to tidy them up and remember to push “publish!” So have no fear…They will be streaming into your RSS feeds very soon 🙂 However, this post actually starts my NCTE journey with a thought that I had when asked how my first year of teaching was going so far…Let me explain.
I have a confession to make (as I sigh heavily with disappointment): I haven’t fully utilized my class nings in all the ways I hoped and all the ways they should be. I think it’s a good thing I am acknowledging this point though, and a good thing that I have a new goal to set for myself. To be honest, I don’t know why I haven’t. I could say time or maybe lack of really knowing everything a ning does as I’ve been learning and navigating as I go along myself. My first introduction to a ning was with the ECN, almost a year ago exactly (in fact, happy 1-year anniversary, ECN!). Then when I started my full-time student teaching in the spring, I decided when I had my own classroom (emphasis on “own” because I was lucky to even use that evil “t” word <technology> at all during my placement) that I wanted to incorporate a ning (and I discussed my initial ideas here).
So, I did. Students jumped on board. We blogged. We posted our work. We commented/collaborated. The nings rocked. But there is so much more! (And I see more and more checking out all of the awesome nings out there teachers are using in their classrooms, too.) In my idea book (which as you all know was one of my goals to use more awhile back), I have so many things down to try out with my nings, and I just haven’t. I think I’m disappointed in myself for not pushing myself more.
And with this in mind, I go back to that question I was asked at the beginning of my NCTE journey: how is your first year of teaching going so far? Long story short, new teacher, experienced teacher…the question switched to why do teachers go back to “comfort?” Why do we settle for just comfort? Why can’t we keep stepping outside of the box? Here are my personal thoughts…
I don’t think I’m a comfort-zone teacher. Yet, to some extent, I am. Again, back to this post, I said that I was my own worst enemy essentially. My goal was to have confidence in those random ideas in my idea notebook (yes, the same yellow one I scribbled in during NCTE, ha!). Those ideas include all of the ones for my nings. At times I am so overwhelmed with all of these ideas swarming in my head that I’m on information overload and resort back to “comfort.”
Some comfort is ok…but I don’t want to be a comfort-only teacher. (If that makes sense at all.) And I don’t think I am. Or will be. Ever.
And though I’m disappointed with my nings, that means there’s only room to improve! Plus, it’s not that the incorporation has been a disaster…the incorporation has been great! I just know that I can utilize the potential/power of ning in many more ways and I’m excited (and determined) to do it!