It is my opinion that being a teacher is difficult for many reasons. It is not easy to see the progress that your students are making day to day. In many other professions a person can tangibly see the progress or lack thereof. This is an odd blog post. I would think that others that are reading this are looking for a professional teachers ideas regarding technology and the educational system. I have taken the liberty to write about the insecurity that I feel sometimes regarding my professional expertise. I know that I am not alone. If I feel this way at times, imagine what someone else who is not as tech savvy, a risk taker or unafraid of making mistakes might feel.
Recently I have come to the conclusion that the more that you know, the more that you don't know. I am a dabbler, I know a little about a lot of things. I am a sponge that is always out there somewhere absorbing new information. I am not an expert on anything. I am finding myself envying (perhaps too strong a word)those that are experts on things. If I am honest the reason is that I want others to count on me for my expertise.
Initially my computer teaching position was equal time teaching and equal time fixing computers, networks, printers... Recently this changed. This year I have 31 classes to teach each week, 4 more than last year. Computers, networks, printers... are working fairly smoothly and my "expertise" to fix something is called on infrequently. I am looking to find some validation. In the not so distant past, I was instrumental in getting SMARTBoards into our schools. I was making presentations to parent teacher groups, doing teacher training and getting things all set up. I am proud of these accomplishments. Things are going very well now which I am very happy about.
A little less than a year ago, I co presented at the WEMTA conference on "Smart Ways To Use A SMARTBoard In Your Classroom". The room was packed. There was fantastic interaction between us and the audience. We received incredible feedback from those that attended. I felt a real connection between all of us. Right after this conference was over, Notebook 10 came out from SMART. My school district sent a different teacher to become a certified trainer for SMART and my days of being the "go to person" were over.
As I read more and more blog posts, online articles, books and hear speakers on many different topics (remember I am a dabbler) I realize that I don't really have anything that I am an expert in, not something that has the "wow effect" that I feel like I can pass on to others at this moment in time. Perhaps in the future.
So as I write this post and let you the reader know how I feel regarding my need for validation it sounds shallow, egotistical and self centered. This is a part of who the "real me" is. I am not going to lie to you. It is a good thing that there are other parts of me too- parts that I am proud to be- kind, generous, enthusiastic and unselfish.