Monday, September 28, 2009

Follow Your Passion....Connect Your Dots.

My blog title, "Follow your Passion....Connect Your Dots" comes from some notes from the ADE Institute that I tapped out on my iPod Touch. (I'm not sure who said it, the context, or even if it is exact). The metaphor speaks very strongly to my experience.

Connecting with Others (Input)
I was one of the first people in my professional circle to really "get into" a listserv. Shakesper was a revelation to me. Having online exchanges with the giants of academia like John W. Velz and Stanley Wells was unspeakably exciting for a high school teacher like myself. Now, I do the majority of reading for news, sports, education, and tech based on the blogs and articles that come my way from my RSS Reader and Twitter.

Connecting with Others (Input)
The Opinion Drive-thru was originally a political blog. During the Obama nomination campaign I actually posted blogs simultaneously on my Obama page where it was more frequently read. Sometimes I posted podcasts. Sometimes I posted on educational subjects. (Usually I didn't post at all). But these were my fledgling efforts to connect-- narcissistic to be sure, by fulfilling a need to reach a wider audience. A year ago I got my Flip camera and began to learn iMovie. Now I have a YouTube channel. I make movies with Keynote, PhotoToMovie, and iMovie. For the past four months it has been a great hobby and a nice outlet for my ideas, knowledge, and opinions.

A Reflection
Some of my friends seem to be suffering from the insularity of their school. They are tired of the same old office politics. They strike me as paranoid and deeply anxious, suffering cases of classic "burn out". Connecting with others has spared me this fate. As I started my thirty-fifth year of teaching, I realized that I no longer saw my work as exclusively taking place in a building or classroom. I have the strongest self-image that I have possessed as a professional: I see myself with a unique set of abilities for integrating the Read/Write web with curriculum. I enjoy this sense of uniqueness and like sharing it with an inner circle of colleagues and with fellow educators around the globe.

I wake up most days looking forward to connecting more dots-- not a bad way to meet the day.
"Connecting the Dots" Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Irina Souiki

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