(With apologies to Pink Floyd.)
I have spent the last couple of months addicted to Twitter and all the fantastic people I’ve “met” there. So much insight. So many ideas. So much hope for the future of education. It makes me smile. I am grateful for the hope that people such as Dan Meyer (@dydan), Illinois Teacher of the Year Josh Stumpenhorst (@stumpteacher), SLA Principal Chris Lehmann (@chrislehmann), Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) – and so many more – have inspired, and equally grateful for the websites, blogs, and electronic goodies they’ve shared.
There’s a problem though. It has made it so I don’t feel like I know what to do next. Ripley from Aliens said “Do Something!”, but I feel like the lieutenant she’s screaming at. Or maybe more like a fish.
I am confident that I am a good teacher. I see my students as people; I know about their lives if they want to share and I help or listen or whatever they need when I can. They aren’t simply a number to make higher. I’m not perfect. But I want to be better.
Right now, I have MangaHigh set up for the last seven weeks for my seniors in Precalculus who are heading off to college. I also have the Khan Academy set up. (Side note: getting information out of the Khan Academy is definitely blood-from-a-turnip territory. It is there and available in a nearly useless form.) I also have me and my never-ending pile of stories to relate to whatever comes up.
I want to be less helpful. I don’t want to be the “sage on the stage”. I want them to discover their passion for (or at least something useful in) math(s). I also want to show them blogging and curating skills for college. I feel like they haven’t seen even half of the stuff they need to have seen in order to do well on their next step, whatever it may be. I feel like it would take the last seven weeks of school just to set it all up.
It feels very overwhelming. Numbing, in fact. But have a go, I will.