Want To Become A Better Teacher? Find Your Thing

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by Kay Bisallon, TeachThought Intern

I love Twitter.

I have found it to be a tool that opens new doors of thoughts, connections, and collaborations. I enjoy scrolling through my feed and seeing like-minded educators eagerly sharing their day, lessons, and thoughtful discussions. I enjoy participating in various Twitter chats and finding new chats. I find Twitter professionally rewarding. It works for me; it’s definitely my thing.

This is not a post about Twitter though…not at all. A good friend of mine embraced Edmodo a few years ago. Using Edmodo changed the way she teaches–helped her become a better teacher. The connections and empowering lessons she creates have been professionally rewarding for her on many levels. Other educators I admire recommend Schoology; some are singing the praises of integrating Google Apps with consistency; while others are simply discovering the joys of blogging and reading blogs of respected professional educators.

Recently, I have been very intrigued by Google+ and all it has to offer. Over the course of time, these tools and countless others have become part of my professional toolbox, but what started it for me was simply using Twitter. It was what “clicked” for me. What is your thing? Have you found it yet?

If you keep thinking, “I just don’t get it. I don’t like Twitter.” Or, you think you don’t have time to figure out how to use those Google features, then go find your “thing”. Start somewhere. Do something. Try lots of different things until it clicks for you. Be willing to try. And, try. And try again.

Along the way, don’t be afraid to fail…and try new things…and learn. You might actually have fun.

The time has come to find something that you find energizing and rewarding. The time has come to embrace teaching in this way. To become a better teacher, find something that helps you on the path  to creating creative and engaging lessons for your students. Will it make sense to you right away? No, maybe not. Understanding the full potential of your new tool will require some time, some training and some learning on your part. Find the tool that works for you.

Will you know it when you find it? Maybe.

Maybe not. If you are honest with yourself, you will realize it seems different. There is something about this tool or this approach that makes you keep coming back to learn more and is worth the time investment.

What works for me might work for you, but it doesn’t have to. This can be hard for the person who recommends the tool. Sometimes we eager beavers (okay, me) try to impress upon others that a certain program is the best thing since sliced bread. For us, it is fabulous! Sometimes, though, it might just not be a good fit for you. Those are the times self doubt begins. “I can’t do this. I don’t understand this.”

Perhaps that particular program just wasn’t the thing that you needed in your lessons at this point in your journey. Keep trying. Don’t give up. Do something. Find something. Don’t doubt yourself or your skill set. Have fun as you improve your craft. Fail.Try again. Keep trying until you find it.

Go find your thing.