I have just read Finding the Passion posted today by Mr. Jarrod Lamshed @jlamshed on the blog At The Teacher's Desk, a collaborative blog by 7 fantastic teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Missouri. The subtitle of the blog is "An experiment in professional learning, collaboration and sharing of ideas." If you really do aspire to be a fantastic teacher,or even just a good teacher, then you should be reading this blog regularly. And when you begin your teaching career, you should be a contributor to it or a similar effort that you start or participate in.
Why is this blog so important?
1. It is an example of what can be found on Twitter. From our Twitter learning experience came our connections to these teachers and this blog. So indirectly it is evidence of the power of Twitter to inform and connect.
2. It is written by real practicing teachers who give a hoot about their teaching. They are passionate about it in a very positive way. In the most recent post Jarrod Lamshed discusses his problem with the word passion but then goes on to describe how his collaborative participation in the world of blogs, streaming video, collaboration and creativity have made him a very passionate teacher. You don't often get to talk with such dedicated, imaginative and "passionate" teachers. Take advantage of it.
3. In my Professional Blog I suggest that we need to avoid being captured by the mantra Return to the Basics but instead we need to adopt the 5Cs: Cloud Computing ("All Information in All Places at All Times"; ClassRooms to ClassSpace, Collaboration, Creativity, Change. The teachers contributing to this blog are practicing all of these all the time. You get a chance to be a part of their thinking process if you read this blog. And you can comment on their posts! And you can converse with them on Twitter and in the wide variety of communication options that they encourage. You don't get that opportunity in the classrooms here!
4. In your Professional Blogs I try to get you start being a "Reflective Practitioner." This blog is the best example of "reflections on practice" by classroom teachers that I have ever seen. Let it be a model to you throughout your professional life.
5. In another post in this blog I passed along Mr. C's musing that he wondered whether you realized how lucky you were to have all of the great helpers in our Twitter learning exercise. These are extremely valuable mentors as you seek to become teachers. Value them, learn from them, let them be your models!
6. This blog is an excellent example of writing with multimedia. You know that I think that one of your major tasks as teachers will be to understand that your students are members of the listening/watching generation and not reader/writers. And I am strongly convinced that as teachers you must lead your students to be contributors to the multimedia world, not just consumers. Well, this blog is a fantastic example of how to write with multimedia. Every post has audio, video, links, or makes use of some of the new tools that are available to us today. Here is a model you can adopt and encourage (and approve) for your students, even where your culture still thinks it all has to be text! (Like this blog, which is almost all text. I talk a good game. Next semester I will try to be a better multimedia model!
7. This blog is a perfect example of how important it is to abandon walls and adopt space for our classes. New Zealand, Australia, the United States. All in one place. Where do you find that in Alabama?
8. If you think that I am always adding things for you to learn because "I don't know. Let's find out", just reflect on these teachers. They go at an even faster pace than I do. You must be ready to be full time learners as well as full time teachers. Just like these teachers!
9. This is collaboration in action! I have admitted in my Professional Blog (I hope you have read it class, since yours is due next Thursday at 5pm) that a major failing of mine this year is not having assigned a single collaborative project this semester. That will change next semester. Well, the podcasts were sort of collaborative, I suppose. But I will expand on the collaboration. Seize the opportunity to watch what collaboration can do for teaching, for students, and for US!