One of my co-workers was saying that she has no where to talk about what she is learning and how she is trying to grow as a teacher. She said that she is reading a lot of books, and trying a lot of things, but doesn’t have anyone to share it with or have a lot of time to process it. This was exactly the kind of thing that I talked about in my talk at #OAME2019 a month ago about why teachers need to connect online.

The basic premise of my talk was that teaching is constantly referenced in relation to the factory model which was the hottest economic opportunity as compulsory schooling went viral. Unfortunately, the factory model wants workers to follow the instructions to carryout precise and scripted movements to produce widgets, while schools need teachers who are able learn and grow in order to plan and implement innovative and dynamic lessons with students. The professional and emotional support that turn of the century factory workers need is vastly different than that for teachers. The kinds of support teachers need for this job may exists in patches, subject to grant funding or the shifts of political winds or under the eye of visionary administrators, but for many it doesn’t exist. Schools may make the shift, but the regulations and rules that allow schools to exist are essentially carved into stone and require loads of legal action for change. While it’s good that education’s importance is underscored by it’s inclusion in laws and regulations, it’s not good that people have to wait for change. Luckily we have the possibility to construct our own support network through the internet. We can write and share about things we are doing to learn and grow. By sharing we open ourselves up for feedback and perhaps provide writing that others can learn and grow from. 

Here are the slides from my talk:

It was great being in Ontario and giving this actual talk. Thanks to Sam Shah, Laura Wheeler, David Petro, Cal Armstrong and everyone else who was attended. If you were there, or if you weren’t and just think my slides are valuable let me know what you think in the comments. Better yet, let me know when you start sharing stuff on line!