Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strictly business...or not?

So when I decided to sign up for Twitter I was clear in my mind that it was for professional reasons. I have really reaped the benefits of "following" leaders in the field of technology and education. On occasion I will tweet something personal, but I try to do that on Facebook instead. When I started this blog I initially thought it too would be strictly for professional reasons. What am I realizing is that it is extremely difficult to keep my personal and professional lives completely separate if I expect to fully embrace either one. For instance, I enjoy sharing my new found passion for technology with my husband who is not in the same profession as me. It leads to great conversations, and in the end it makes us closer knowing what happens during the 9-5 (ha) shift that we don't see each other. The reverse isn't as obvious...technically it may be easier to engage in meaningful conversations with others with zero personal information involved, but the reality is that the personal information is what makes us have the human connection. I really enjoy when others post great articles, new blogs, etc. that deal with teaching; it really hits home with me though when I see that this person clearly tweeted that after putting kids to bed just like me. So as with just about everything in life, I guess the key is moderation. I think a 70-30 split on both sides works well for me. So Good Night fellow teachers and Good Night Moon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Batter Up...

Okay so batter up may have been a stretch since I don't play baseball, never played baseball, and don't even particularly like watching baseball. I was trying to think of something that symbolized how I felt as I start a blog that is not for my students but for me. My husband watches baseball at times, but he has really been addicted to the College World Series. So I would glimpse up every now again and was really drawn into the UVA and Arkansas game (partly because i wanted UVA to do well). Nonetheless, I could not stop feeling so sorry for these poor guys who came up to bat with the winning run on base who did not come through with a hit...I was thinking how their nerves must be made of steel (and their poor mothers). Then the more I thought about why they would do this I thought it really isn't any different than what we do as teachers. Every day is a new game and every lesson is a new "batter up" moment. Wouldn't it be great if every hit was a homeroom...sometimes we try so hard and still swing and miss. What should we aim for though...what should our batting average look like? Why do some teachers think they no longer have to go "practice" in order to at least maintain if not improve their teaching? Really if more teachers started to look at teaching like a baseball game it would be something like this:
1. We are all part of a team. We win together and lose together. We can build off our strengths and help carry each other through weaknesses. One player can only carry the team for some many innings or at the most so many games...
2. Every position is important. It doesn't matter if you teach AP English, 3rd grade, or Art class. Each position is unique and equally as valued.
3. If you miss practice, you don't play. You owe it to your team to bring your A game everyday which includes practicing when you don't want to, finding time to learn new skills, being willing to adjust your grip when needed.
4. If you don't want to play then don't come out for the team. It isn't fair to you or your team if you aren't there for the right reasons with the right attitude...bottom-line is you chose to be on the team!
5. There is no crying in baseball...

So there you have it...teaching and baseball.