One of the greatest tools I have learned to use more and more since I became a teacher is my ability to ask a question. While so many people fail to act, to innovate, to inspire; most, if not all of them fail to do so because they did not ask a question. This is the most basic of all principles of life, and one that our most basic instincts never “forget” to do. If you are hungry then ask for food. If you are cold then ask for warmth. You get the picture.
With this being said, I have found that most of my fellow teachers are a venerable treasure trove of information. Some of their answers are not what I am looking for, and that is okay. I say that is okay because for every answer deemed unimportant I have found a dozen more golden opportunities to help me develop as a teacher.
A few years back when I was just a mere Technology Specialist, I ventured into the unknown with a teacher Who Shall Not Be Named. This teacher wanted to incorporate technology into every facet of his classroom. I worked hard with him, showing the countless Web 2.0 sites that could change the very landscape of his classroom. It was his success and ultimately his “question” that led me to where I am now in my journey as a teacher. Using HIS inquiry I have been able to build upon a firm bedrock of understanding how teenagers use the Internet nowadays.
I can safely say that on my last TKES walkthrough I was given a proficient in the Instructional area of the assessment. The administrator left a comment that had me scratching my head in confusion. He wrote, ‘Demonstrates an extensive overuse of technology in the classroom that keeps students focused at every moment of the assessment.” That word overuse worried me a little, but after asking my fellow teachers what they felt the statement meant made me see it in a whole new light. They want technology totally integrated into the classroom and anyone who is considered using it too much is where they want everyone apparently. So in me asking a simple question to a problem that was worrying me to pieces, I learned that nothing is ever truly as it seems.
In closing, a lesson I learned years ago still lies true today. Ask and ye shall receive…