I had the honor of guest moderating #arkedchat (Arkansas educators) last Thursday evening. If you haven’t joined in on a Thursday evening at 8pm CST you really should. It’s a great example of one of the many state-sprcific chats we have happening on Twitter.
One of my takeaways from the chat, and something I’ve had said to me on more than one occasion lately (in variation), led me to respond with this:
Remember: forward movement is better than no movement at all. Don’t worry if it’s too small of movement. Any movement matters! #arkedchat
— Kyle Pace (@kylepace) April 18, 2014
We need to stop putting the pressure on ourselves to be as good as so-and-so; or that I should using this tech tool or that tech tool. This is an internal struggle that you won’t win. What matters is that you are taking the necessary steps to move forward in your practice. You’re becoming better! That’s what the focus needs to be. Not on the speed it’s happening (or isn’t) or if you’re using the same tools/devices as your neighbor in the classroom next door. It’s better to move forward slowly than not move forward at all!
I had a similar conversation face to face last week as well. A teacher that’s taking the grad class I teach on Tuesday nights was worried because she wasn’t using the same presentation tool as her fellow teacher sitting next to her in class. I wanted to give plenty of choices in which tools my teachers use to demonstrate their learning; I wanted them to pick the one they felt the most comfortable with. I had to remind her not to worry that what she was doing was a more simplistic approach (it wasn’t, it was just a different tool).
We need to stop letting these kind of thoughts infiltrate the culture of professional learning among teachers. The more we allow teachers to have variance in their professional learning (and remove their worry about it not being enough) just think how rich the sustainable culture of sharing will become!