|Even though my contribution was used to show a counterexample of what I was trying to show, it was still neat to be acknowledged online.|
One thing I learned early on in my year at Chinquapin is that teaching is too difficult an endeavor to take on in isolation. For all teachers, but especially first year teachers, relying on colleagues in your school and outside of your school is imperative. Often, the latter is easier because of the vast amount of information available online and the impersonal nature of the internet. Until I started looking for science and math videos, blogs, and projects on the internet, my lesson planning was incredibly difficult. Plus, keeping updated on the education conversations happening online gives me an idea of what types of topics are being discussed in progressive education circles and reminds me that I am not alone in struggling to find effective classroom practices. Reading and researching current discussions in education is the best way for me to challenge and broaden my own teaching practices, and if you are not constantly trying to become the best teacher you can be, then why bother doing it at all?
The other great thing about the internet, that makes it superior to print resources, is that you can participate in the discussions rather than just observe them. Even though I've been teaching math for less than a year, my online presence is just as legitimate as 99% of math teachers in the world. For example, I have been posting and commenting and e-mailing Dan Meyer, a leader in the math education field, for the past few months and I have been amazed at how accessible his blog has been. I was particularly excited to see some of my comments on his posts elicit responses from other readers, and one of my e-mails to him was even posted on his blog (which was a secret goal of mine this year...).
So if you are a new teacher (or a new anything, for that matter) don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and jump into the online conversation with the 'experts,' it's definitely one of the best things that has happened in my brief teaching career so far.
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