I'm pretty sure my parents would have something to say about my blog title. Growing up, failure was not an option - and guess what - I never failed. My friends asked me what would have happened if I did fail at something. I always reply with, "I don't know because it never happened to me or my siblings." We just knew the consequence would be terrible. It's not that we were perfect, but we never put ourselves in any situation where failure was a possibility. Our success was largely fear driven.
My first years of teaching were generally free of failure as well. However, they weren't free of complete and total anxiety, headaches, stomach aches, late nights and stress. I often used tried and true methods and let those around me lead. I'd kowtow to parents in order to make them happy and avoid negativity. Once I found lessons that worked, I often used them several years in a row because I knew they were winners. Although my world appeared perfect: parents happy, students happy, admin happy... I wasn't happy.
I wasn't being true to who I set out to be as an educator. In college, I saw myself as an innovator - someone who would push boundaries and keep up with the times. Quickly, I fell into the patterns of those around me. It really hasn't been until the last two years that I've changed. Year 14 and 15 have been the most exciting, most fulfilling and sometimes the most frustrating years I've taught.
A class set of Chromebooks, a supportive district and a Twitter PLN have changed the game. Last year was the first year I was close to 1:1. Due to construction we had a make-shift campus made of bungalows on the field. Needless to say, the wireless wasn't awesome. Each day I'd come in with a creative and thought provoking Internet based lesson, only to have the wireless go down. The motto in my room was "Plan B isn't enough - we need plans LMNOP." However challenging it was, I kept trudging away with the knowledge that my administration was more interested in me trying new and innovative things than they were in my classroom being perfect. For the first time, I had permission to fail - in fact, I can say it was almost encouraged. Armed with this knowledge I tried as much as I could. As I approached the 2014-2014 school year, I was introduced to Twitter. I was late to the party, but.... I jumped in. It wasn't until I participated in my first #caedchat that I realized the power of Twitter. The amazingly positive, creative and supportive group encouraged each other to try new things. I've never looked back. Here is the list of the good, bad and ugly tech I've attempted this year.
Blogging is yet another new "thing" that I'm pushing myself to try. I consider myself fairly reflective, but I also have a terrible memory. I hope that by writing things down I will be able to notice ideas or patterns I was unable to see before as well as to have a running record of my growth as a professional.