Friday, October 24, 2008

Trepidation

Earlier this week, someone asked about how my building administrators are using social networking tools. I quietly laughed at this because I am just getting more comfortable with using social networking tools in my professional life.

It was interesting how this appeared at this point in time because I have spent a bit of time the last several months not being quite sure of my professional goals. The whole "what do I want to be when I grow up" question plagued me. I felt listless, aimless, even bordering on apathetic. Definitely not where I had intended on being when I started teaching several years ago, and I wanted to blame it on a myriad of things. My position, my colleagues, my disinterest. Then I realized, I had no one to blame but myself. I had become stagnant in my profession. And I had nobody to blame but myself. I think over the past several weeks, I have learned one of the most important lessons I could learn: Passion doesn't just happen upon you; it is a result of connecting in a meaningful way.

I had been sitting back and waiting to be inspired-- inspired to think, inspired to change, inspired to choose. And it wasn't happening. And so I sat. And I watched myself spiral down into the place we all see many teachers spiral: mediocrity. I was busying myself with technical requests and organizational processes, blindly for quite a while, not realizing that while I was doing this, I was allowing part of myself to die away. I see the value of what I have been doing here for two years, and much of it was necessary, but I also now see the value of balance. And that was what I was lacking.

Coming to the Tech Center pulled me out of my comfort zone. Rather than being able to easily integrate technology into subjects that I knew much about-- English, social studies, science, math-- I was now surrounded with wrenches and torches; cars and sheds; huge mixers; blowdryers and scissors... I had no idea where to begin, what they were teaching, or how I could help them to move forward into the 21st century-- to benefit themselves and their students. And true to form, I was fearful, so I sat; I didn't risk. This is my pattern, but I can reflect now and see that I usually end up moving past the fear. I hope one day to not allow the fear to consume me so completely.

It has been invigorating to bring myself back up to speed. My Google Reader, which for a year has sat, intermittently accessed, with very few feeds, is now bursting with robust feeds from many different Educational Technology professionals. Twitter, which I couldn't really understand as a professional tool, now blips at me daily, and I have started following people I know and those I don't know. And probably the greatest accomplishment of all? I have contacted five teachers about the possibilities of transforming our portfolio process to an online project. They have all excitedly accepted, and though I still feel trepidation at the prospects of seeing this project through to fruition, I know that this time, I will not allow it to whither.

1 comment:

Marian said...

Best of luck with the online portfolio project!!! It will be great, of that I am sure. Let me know if you ever need any outsiders to help grade or offer opinions. We all stagnate from time to time, so good for you for recognizing it and pushing onward and upward.
From a former 'techie' :-)