#TeachingIs

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{In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9), CTQ is launching #TeachingIs, a social media effort to challenge stereotypes and recognize teaching as the complex work it is. Set the record straight. Join us!}

I currently work at William Jessup University as the Educational Technologist. When people hear what I do, I get several reactions. First, since I work with technology, many people assume that I fix computers. But I don’t. Really – you don’t want me trying to take your computer apart to fix it! When I worked as a K-12 Technology Coordinator, I would tell people that “I drive the car – I don’t fix the car.” Secondly, many people assume that I use technology all the time with education and while teaching. That is not true, either. Although I enjoy all the benefits that technology brings to the classroom, I understand that it is a tool and must be used wisely and with a purpose.

I’ve taught (mostly elementary level) for over 25 years. I originally went into teaching because I enjoy working with students and love being creative.

…I enjoy student/teacher relationships

…I enjoy decorating my classroom, fresh new name tags, and beginning year bulletin boards. I love paper products, post-it-notes, and cute clips.

…I enjoy writing lessons

…I enjoy silly questions, putting stickers on papers, and watching kids play

…I enjoy researching new ways to better engage my students

…I enjoy grading papers and helping students understand complex problems.

…I enjoy learning how students learn

…I enjoy learning

I want kids to run, play, be active, draw, create, collaborate, move. I enjoy teamwork and groups. I like project-based learning and hands-on projects. I like having students act out skits, interact with each other, and create raps to memorize. I want students outside playing, not stuck inside with a computer or iPad.

Yet – I do enjoy technology. I believe it has helped me improve my own teaching practicewhich is why I enjoy being an Educational Technologist.  As a classroom teacher, I used technology to:

…create  my classroom decorations

…create an interactive class web site that provided content outside the class day to help those who struggled, and gave extra information to those that could move “beyond”

… inspire students with visuals, audio, and sound

…engage students by giving them voice

…inspire students with the “awe” factor

…research original sources to reinforce curriculum

You see, when it comes down to the heart of the matter, I want to help other teachers improve their practice. Technology is one of the many tools that can help teachers and students. This is why I am an Educational Technologist.  I enjoy helping college faculty improve their own productivity and inspiring them to learn something new. I also teach in the Education department – helping college students pursue their dream of becoming a teacher. What a privilege! I am an educator…and I love teaching!

Participating is easy! Tell the world what #TeachingIs to you. Share your definitions, stories, small (and big!) wins, and manifestos via tweet, blog post, Vine, Instagram, YouTube, shareable graphic, Six Word Memoir, you name it! Just be sure to use the hashtag #TeachingIs.

From small details to spectacular achievements, teachers are telling THEIR stories of what #TeachingIs. Add your voice!

Wanna go further? Join the Collaboratory, CTQ’s virtual community of 5,000+ educators working together to transform the teaching profession.

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