Tech, Teaching and Me

Trying to turn off my brain by writing it down

Priorities & Passion in Teaching

on February 16, 2012

Yesterday, my fellow teachers and I were lucky enough to have Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and speak at our school. It was an afternoon of thought-provoking inspiration for me.

Her presentation was energizing and motivating. The take-aways from the day were many. I will share with you two of the impactful thoughts for me. Sheryl told us, “You can be powerful or you can be pitiful.” It is so easy to go to a place in our minds and think, “I can’t do Skype (or insert other technology program here), I don’t have a webcam (or another piece of equipment), or I don’t even know how to use the program or find another class to Skype with.” Or, “That is a great idea but I don’t have the time.” It is easy to blame the absence of technology, the craziness of the schedule, or even the students themselves because they don’t have the attention span or the knowledge to do something that “creative”.

The truth is, we all set our priorities, every day. If something is important to you, you find the time, you find the resources, and you find the knowledge. If going to the gym is important to you, you go. It doesn’t matter if you are tired, you go. If having dinner together as a family is important to you, you make it happen as often as you possibly can….because it is important to you to invest the time and the energy. You set your priorities. You find the time, the energy and the resources for what is important to you. If you don’t make it happen, it wasn’t that important.

The same is true in our teaching profession. If it is important to you, if there are consequences or results you deem worthwhile, you will make it happen. Those consequences may be the knowledge you give to the students, the joy you see in their eyes, the energy you feel from teaching a lesson in a creative and inspiring way, or the fact that your administration says it is mandatory. The bottom line is, if it is important to YOU, you will find the time, the resources and the energy to make it happen. You will stop being pitiful and you will start being powerful. The choice is yours to make.

 I am the Computer Resource teacher at my school. My job is to integrate technology lessons with teachers. I love taking lessons and infusing a new technological spin. I enjoy technology and all it offers to me, my teachers and my students. The presentation Sheryl gave yesterday was fabulous. But, admittedly, I drink the “Kool-Aid” so to speak….I am an easy sell. I was very surprised to hear from many teachers afterwards, that it was a presentation about more technology, more devices, more programs, more digital tools. I realized quickly what my second take-away from the presentation was – the presentation wasn’t about “technology based” teaching but “passion based” teaching. Making a difference in our student’s learning is not about the digital tools, the equipment, or the money we spend. The difference is a result of using those tools and all available tools with purpose, with passion, with energy and creativeness.

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