I'm leaving on a jet plane.... Scratch that. I'm flying on a toy plane. Sitting on a two hour flight with about sixty other people for two hours, I figure I have time to play catch up on my blog.
Of all the things I missed most as a result of not attending ISTE this year, it was the conversations. Oh, how I love the conversations. So very much so that I had planned and scheduled an intimate conversation with a couple of friends that Sunday night. Since that conversation never had a chance to materialize and I'm much too impatient to wait until we are all back together again, I've decided to start that dialogue here. Interesting thing about a dialogue.... It really needs to have more than one voice, so please add yours!
The conversation planned for that Sunday night was the result of hours of conversation with Rafranz Davis and casual chats with Jessica Johnston. Over and over again I found myself visiting this topic always more intrigued and perplexed by it everytime it was brought up. The original conversation centered around this idea of Twitter superstars and Twitter fame. The very concept annoys the fire of of me. By definition, it creates an "us" and "them". You don't have the followers, numbers, etc. that I do so you aren't awesome like me. Hogwash! Educators are doing amazing things in their classroom and they may not even be on Twitter. Maybe they are but it isn't the medium they chose to communicate or they just aren't as good at it. Why further create a divide but separating them into "not a superstar"? *Stepping off soap box.**
Going back and forth with David Jakes trying to get him to join the conversation (basically I was tying to sell its importance), I caught some annoyance with a topic so silly. Well yeah, it was.... Kinda. I really just hadn't done a good enough job of verbalizing the bigger picture. It wasn't this eighth grade mindset of twitter fame and superstars.... No, it was the fake context and environment in which it operates. These often self-proclaimed superstars are such because of the super amazing things they say are happening in their classrooms..... ALL THE TIME! Ah! That's more about what I wanted to talk about. Success.
Why do we share successes? Not a rhetorical question. Go ahead and think about it. Why do we share successes specifically within education? Got your reason in your head? Good. Now answer me this. Why don't we also share the struggles, trials, obstacles, and all the crap that goes wrong? Why have we all grown up to be a plastic ? For those that don't click the link or get the reference, a plastic is a perceived queen bee always perceived to be perfect.
For a good amount of time, I really thought about throwing in the towel. Obviously I was doing this whole education thing all wrong. I wasn't getting the amazing results that (fill in twitter superstar) was. My students didn't always turn in the best work known to man like (insert twitter superstar here). Heck I had even tried what (insert twitter superstar here) said they did in their class and it was a miserable failure in mine. What gives?
I was comparing my dress rehearsals and behind the scenes to their final production. That's all I had. That's all they shared. They never shared THE PROCESS with me. I never saw their mishaps. I was never privy to the flops, oops, and outtake reel. That's the conversation I really wanted to have. Why do we do this? Why do we only share our shining moments and never our own learning? Isn't that what we always ask out students to do? We want to know about the journey that resulted in the finished product. We want to see the process. Are you sharing your processes?