I feel like I have been left in the wilderness to wander. I know, I know, Moses did it for forty years and I have only been doing it for four. I enjoy #etMOOC and all of the interactions with people who I feel are superstars in education. People like Alec Couros, Dean Shareski, Dave Comier, Cathy Anderson, Sue Watters, Alison Seaman, Doug Belshaw, Patrick Larkin and the list goes on. The downside is that everyone I am interacting with is teaching in some way shape or form. I sat at a computer terminal for nine hours today with two fifteen minute breaks and a half hour for lunch. I use that one hour of time at work to peer into the lives of those who are living the dream via social media.
Everyone is so engaged and working on projects and sharing things and gearing up to present at conferences and I think to myself, where did everything go wrong. Instead of listening to kids engage in creative projects and problem solving or skype-ing with other classrooms around the world. I get to over hear one person talk about her divorce and another talk about money. My only relief is to retreat into my set of earphones and listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or music.
In my line of work creativity is discouraged. Everything is laid out and pretty straight forward. Oh, I have problems that I encounter, Puerto Rico is a tough island to get paperwork from, but it’s just not the same as working with students and teachers who are energized and willing to take on the problems of the day.
There is really something special about the field of education. Something about watching learners uncover an interesting nugget or even discover a gold mine. Talking with kids about the big game on Friday night, how the fishing tournament went over the weekend, how the new Hobbit movie is compared to the book. I have found out how much I miss the students, my colleagues, the drama, the suspense, the little interactions in the hall at passing time, that wise cracker that has a witty come back for just about any occasion.
The funny thing is that the kids I miss the most are the ones that gave me a hard time, who challenged me, who were labeled “difficult.” People wouldn’t label them as difficult and complain about them if they realized how boring their lives would be without them. Hey, you could be stuck staring at a computer screen for nine hours a day and the only impact you make is that you get to collect a pay check at the end of the week. That’s about the only positive thing I can find about what I do for a living, I get to collect a check at the end of the week.
I want to do more than merely collect a check. I want to make a difference in the lives of kids every day. I want to look forward to the challenges of the day without knowing what might transpire. I want to be surprised and inspired by kids craving to let their creativity out. I want a messy working classroom full of life and joy.
Photo: Wwalczyszyn – http://wwalczyszyn.deviantart.com/