Ben Wilkoff's blog on Elitism in the edublogosphere, or Edublarbification made me think about whether or not I'm one of those guys? Do I talk about technology and the tools or ideas I'm using like I'm smarter than or better than my peers. Gosh, I hope not, but it made me question whether or not I do. I try to make myself accessible to anyone who has questions or wants help whenever possible. I answer emails from teachers that I've never met with the same enthusiasm as I do for my teammates. the following was my reply or response when I initially read it. I have a feeling this may be one of those that stay with me, we'll see. (as an aside, usually you need people reading your blog to be an elitist, so I think I'm safe) :)
I think that for me at least, it’s a lot less about elitism as it is frustration overflown. It hasn’t taken me long into my teaching career to have quite a few teachers tell me that we do it “this way” or “that way” because that’s the way we have been doing it for twenty years. I’m no elitist in fact I’m barely an “edublogger” but I know that it’s broken and that it needs to be fixed. And like you’ve been pointing out for a couple years, change is tough, and some egos will get bruised including our own.
For the most part I want to think that most teachers are doing a great job with limited resources and unlimited expectations. When I see teachers sharing, blogging, and teaching each other through the web I get excited. When I see a slideshow like “Social Learning" from Alec Courosa that changes my outlook on my career path and vision I get pumped up and want to tell the world that we can do it better and faster and with new ideas and a new vision. When I come across 101 tools and resources from some teacher in a district down the street from me, my first reaction is WOW!!!I want some of that!
We use words that are ridiculous sounding, yes, and terms that are outdated and lame almost before we spew them out (web 2.0…really?) We kill terms and speak them to death, like 21st century learner 10 years after the century changed over. But, I’m beginning to see lights and connections around me that are inspiring me in my school, my articulation area, and my district.
I must say though that your post made me think…again and I appreciate that.
I don’t know if I have all the answers, some of the answers, or none of them, but I know that I will try to pour 110% of my knowledge, skills, talents and resources into my class tomorrow and that feels pretty good.