Why wait?

Caught myself thinking again this morning, “Man, if I was back in the classroom, knowing what I know now, I’d jump all over this.” I was reading an article about the importance of brain breaks for kids.

This made me wonder why, given all the access to professional learning available via social media, it appears that we still wait to do things we intuitively know are better for kids? It’s not like it was when I started teaching. Pardon the brutal lapse into old guy lingo. But sheesh, we didn’t have twitter, edchats, or broad PLNs in the mid-eighties. We had what we learned in college, which was pretty much how we were taught in K-12 as kids. We had the teacher down the hall that was doing some pretty cool stuff with kids. We had an occasional conference. The challenge with the occasional conference was that you would get all fired up about something…but it rarely stuck. Because the occasional conference didn’t include more people in your school. So you came back to school and usually the fervor faded. And you went back to doing what you had always done.

None of that applies anymore. Well actually probably all of that still applies…but there is SO much more. SO many ideas available within seconds from gifted educator colleagues around the world. Is the problem that there is too much available? Is that what will constitute old guy lingo in the future? “It’s not like when I started teaching. We had way TOO much cool stuff to do with kids and lots of it was based on solid research. It was overwhelming. So I just did what I always did.”

A piece of advice from this old guy. Don’t be that guy. Don’t wait. From the too much cool stuff to do to give kids an even richer experience….choose one thing to start. Brain breaks. Greeting kids at the door. More student talk. Less teacher talk. Flipped classrooms. Different homework. Access to experts via technology. Find your social media tool of choice…and use it. A new career flashpoint could happen in the next 2 minutes.

Don’t wait. Please.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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