Escaping Your Bubble

Although it is only almost spring break, I am looking forward to summer and days when my schedule is whatever I want it to be and I will get the chance to slow down for a bit. One thing that I will keep doing throughout the summer, though is revolved around my desire to continue to learn and grow. I know that I will not be stagnant and while I will take a lot of time to relax, I will be checking Twitter and Voxer occasionally to continue to learn from others.

One of the most important things I have done in my educational career is to get connected with other educators through the use of social media. I know that my career path would be on a totally different trajectory had I not joined Twitter in the fall of 2009. The biggest reason why is that I was able to escape the bubble of comfort and echoing that surrounds so many in the educational field. During my first three years of teaching, I spent most of my non-class time with the teachers immediately surrounding my own classroom. I did not venture out into other parts of the school or meet up with educators from other areas, I was just protected by this bubble.

After my third year of teaching, however, I switched to a much smaller school and found myself without any other Physics or Earth Science teachers surrounding me. I wanted to discuss ideas with others and find out what was going on in other Physics classrooms so I was encouraged by another educator to try out Twitter as they had made some connections on there with other educators. I joined partly to connect with other educators to get ideas but also to share stuff with my own students since at the time, in 2009, a lot of them were on Twitter.

It is over 13 years later, and I have now connected with educators from around the world. I have a much wider perspective of education and have learned with some great educators. I have people who will push my ideas around everything from assessment, classroom design, accessibility, and instructional design to whatever you want to learn about being an educator.

Being connected was just one way I was able to escape the echo chamber that exists around so many educators. We just constantly get bombarded with the same ideas and viewpoints around education. I was told by a colleague during my second year of teaching, while at lunch, that you can’t help every student. His attitude is one that I did not want, and I made a conscious decision to avoid lunchtime conversations with him. I am not ready to be that type of educator, and I made the decision from that time forward to keep looking for others that would help me grow and improve as an educator and person.

When all you hear is the same thing repeatedly, aligning with what you already believe, there is little chance for you to grow or improve. I want positivity and growth, not pessimism or apathy. I want to expand my understanding of what it means to be an effective teacher. I want to learn from the experience of others and to see different perspectives. I want to be better tomorrow than I was today.

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