Do PLN’s breed Dissatisfaction?

Steve Dembo pontificates if “Joining a PLN is bad for  your morale.”  He says:

“Example #1. Teacher A works in a decent district. It isn’t a dream job, but nor is it a slum. She does her job, does it well and loves working with the kids. Then she joins Classroom 2.0 and Twitter and other related sites. She reads about Chris Lehmann and SLA, she hears the great things that Eric Langhorst is doing with students in Missouri, she watches the amazing projects that Vicki Davis comes up with in Georgia… Then all of a sudden her school doesn’t look so great anymore. Why isn’t her school as tech savvy and ‘with it’ as those other schools? Why aren’t her administrators more on the cutting edge of educational theory, and why aren’t more teachers upset by this? Gradually, she starts to realize that her school is just behind and always will be. It’s not worth the time and effort to make the change there, perhaps she’d be better off trying to find a new school to teach at that ‘gets it’. A school where she can really spread her wings with like minded colleagues. Time to dust off the resume.”

My response to Steve’s thoughts:

To me, we all have insecurities.  Do I refuse to pick up a fashion magazine because it makes me feel like a fat, old woman?

No.

We all feel insecure. When we view from the outside in, we seem to think the other person has it great.  Well, speaking for myself — I have my own set of HUGE frustrations here and we have a long way to go.

To me, it is a matter of doing your best where you are – and remember that it takes time and consistent hard work to improve yourself and your classroom.  No one who does anything great does anything overnight – when we started in November 2005, I KNEW NOTHING!!!! Yes, I cried and was in tears.  Yes, I felt like a loser and a bad teacher.

But, when you have that awakening, then it is time to do something and know that a mountain climber climbs the highest peak one step at a time.

We all have excuses. We all have reasons we cannot improve and change, but to me the greatest glory is to be in a job, stick it out, encourage and help others and know that over time I can improve things.

It took a long time for me to get overweight and will take a long time to get it off (5 1/2 lbs down though!) we cannot change schools overnight!!!

That is why we must connect and be authentic and real that it is tough and not all easy.  Change is tough but it can be done in good ways that positively impact student learning!

What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Do PLN’s breed Dissatisfaction?

  1. You go girl!!! I completely agree with you. In fact, I learn from you every week!! The district surrounding the University where I teach is like the one Steve speaks about and sadly, I actually hear some of those things come out of “future” teachers mouths. It makes me cringe and I want to go screaming into the street!! Thanks for inspiring me and my pre-service teachers, your blog and this topic will be one of the first things I show in class this semester(next week). Thank You!

  2. Hi all,

    My martial arts instructor taught us not to compare ourselves to others. The same might be said for any given situation.

    The choice seems to be to either choose to adopt a “victim’s” mentality and get stuck in a self-pitying rut or accept our given circumstances as challenges worthy of your best efforts.

    I choose to be challenged. That’s what makes life so interesting!

    All the best,

  3. Great thoughts. We have all been there. I think we cycle through it more than once. Sticking around, digging in, and making changes no matter how small is worth it. The k12online I did was not spectacular but was born out of this realignment back to my colleagues at home. I will still get my pln to push and twist me, and will still get frustrated locally, but it all gets us back into thinking what is important now and what we need to do now.

  4. I agree with you about it taking time to change and that no change can happen overnight, especially with technology. Technology is an ever changing field in itself and to strive to keep up with others would be pointless. However, I do understand the frustrations being in a school system that is behind in technology compared to surrounding counties with no one willing to learn in order to make a change. I guess it will just take time as you said for others to become interested in learning about new things. Until then I will do what I can to make a difference!

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