Last year, a friend, and colleague, encouraged our PLN to look at what is in our bags. I think that what is in our bags, tells a lot about who we are. I tend to have a lot in my bag. But, recently, I have been trying to shrink my bag and eliminate some of the unnecessary items that I carry with me on a day-to-day basis. I feel like this is an expression of my desire to simplify my life. Honestly, I have a lot going on. And, my bag is something that I can control.
Annotating an Image with ThingLink
Last year, I created a ThingLink to show what was in my bag. If you are not familiar with ThingLink, it is an amazing tool that lets users annotate pictures with “hotspots”. I like this site because it is very easy to use. You can upload a photo and then annotate directly on the photo. It saves in your ThingLink account. You can click on my image below to see all of my annotations.
I’ll tell you, my bag looks very different today. Maybe that is another post!
What is in your bag? And, what does it tell about you?
Here is a tweet that I wrote less than a month ago.
I think about change all the time and often reflect why some people are so resistant to change? After all, without change, wouldn’t life be boring? If my life never changed, I would have never gone to college, grad school, become a teacher, married or had children. I would have never left the classroom to do professional development for teachers. I would always be wondering “what if…” Is change scary? Yes. Absolutely yes. But, as one says “change is the only constant.”
Technological Change in the Classroom
I battle technological change daily. Some teachers tell me “I hate computers”, or “I’m bad with computers”, or even “I can’t do this.” I find it very ironic when I hear this from my fellow educators. When I was teaching classroom World Language (French & German), I told my students that they were not allowed to walk into my room and tell me that they could not do the lesson that I had not yet begun to teach. They had not learned it yet, had no experience and no confidence. Now, I am facing this same issue with those people educating today’s students. How strange.
So, what do I do? Just like with my students, I build relationships. It has taken me four years and I have built many but there is always work to do. More teachers to reach, more confidence to build. I believe that this parallels my time in the classroom. I cannot teach without building that relationship, that trust, first. How can I make you believe in yourself and push you past your preconceived notion of what you can and can’t do? I encourage. I model. I empathize. I go off topic (yes, that is important, too.) I learn while they learn. Then, I do this all over again.
I have found it important to keep my expectations in check. When I first went into the classroom, I thought that my students would love French and learn quickly. Anyone who has been in the classroom knows that it is only a very small percentage of students who love the content and learn quickly. With most students, you have to take baby steps. Baby steps help to build self-confidence in the student and trust in the instructor. As I moved out of the classroom and into the professional development world, “take baby steps” has become my mantra.
Change is inevitable. You might as well embrace it. Just embrace it in baby steps.