Yesterday I spent the day working with the administrative team from a nearby school district. This was the first time I have ventured outside the comfort zone of my own district to teach other professionals. We worked on blogging, wikis, RSS, and other Web 2.0 tools, and we did a lot of talking about the use of these tools by administrators and by teachers in the classroom. I shared some of my district’s work with Alan November and the Metiri Group on 21st Century Skills, and I assisted them in setting up their own blogs, RSS aggregators, and wikis.
I really enjoyed the day, and I was fortunate to be working with a team of open-minded, hard working educators who have a passion for what they do. I see this in my own district with our admin team, and it was great to see the passion with another team. It also was interesting to observe the dynamics of how another administrative team works, and this group appeared to be focused and willing to roll up their sleeves and learn some new, often confusing, stuff.
I have wanted to get back into teaching for a while, and I have been thinking about the possibility of teaching adults. So when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it. I will admit that it was nerve racking for me, and I had a few de-ja-vu moments. I had the same “imposter” feelings that I experiened when I started teaching elementary school, when I moved to a junior high, and when I first became a principal. It’s the feeling that I am faking my way through the day, praying that nobody will notice that I am an imposter who really does not know more than anyone else!
I also experienced that feeling of stress when a student “does not get it” after my initial instruction. There were times yesterday were I was worried that I was not explaining or teaching well because the “students” were not picking up a concept immediately. I had to step back and remind myself that there is a learning curve for all new things, and that I need to be patient. This is what all teachers face, including those in my school, and it’s good for me to be reminded of this again. Additionally, not everyone gets it at the exact same time. People process new information at different speeds, and at different levels. The concept of differentiating the instruction is important for learners of all ages. Again, these are good reminders for me as I work with my own teachers and the students in my school.
I am pleased with how the day went, yet there is so much for me to learn about leading workshops and inservice meetings for other educators. Of course, there is a learning curve for all that’s new and challenging. I hope to get the opportunity to do this again one day.
I am definitely a teacher at heart.