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?
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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