“Today, isolation is a choice educators make.” George Couros
I started as a middle school teacher in 1984. 36 years ago. I got my keys, my plan book, a classroom, and the kids. No induction. No professional learning. No books about teaching. No PLC. No PLN. Obviously no Twitter or any other social media platform. Didn’t have a computer. Took attendance on a little slip of paper that I hung outside the door. I had a chalkboard, a movie projector (the clackity clackity kind), and a podium.
Isolation had commenced and I didn’t even realize it. In fact, something worse happened. My next door neighbor was generally described as the most negative teacher in the building. He couldn’t get to me fast enough to begin to poison my young teacher heart and soul.
Then I found my buddy Dave. Another first year teacher. We clung together, designed work together, grew together, and fended off the negative teachers that wanted to feel better about themselves by reigning us in. Dave and I chose not to be isolated. But it was tough. Our goldfish bowl was very small.
A teacher’s goldfish bowl now can be an ocean. Twitter, for example, provides on-demand, in the moment, professional learning, completely centered on a teacher’s choice of learning. George Couros brought that message home with a resounding bang. Literally to remain isolated now, as a teacher, is an absolute choice to do so.
And the amazing educators in Fife are choosing to not be isolated. Here are a few examples:
- Marci Johnson
- John Garrett
- Mark Beddes
- Brian Neufeld
- FHS Music Department
- Laura Ramos
- Josh Goodman
- Erica Meske
Thank you to all dedicated, passionate, always learning and growing educators who choose NOT to be isolated.