As a specialist in a school, you’re usually “the one” in your department. Two if you’re lucky. I needed more. I needed resources. I needed ideas. I needed someone who has taught in my field for YEARS and could share words of wisdom. I needed a music network.
Thanks to Facebook, I belong to several music education groups. I have written comments on at least three posts, posted a question of my own, and responded to a fellow music teacher to suggest an idea to use in the classroom. Does this elevate my status from “lurker” (as Jeff says) to “semi-lurker”? I should at least receive a sticker or something.
For me, it’s a work in progress to build the courage to be visible in this digital age. Once it’s posted, it’s out there. You can’t undo it. Right..? I read through the first two chapters of Reach, then read it again and again. I wanted to make sure that the ideas formulating in my head as I read the words were making sense. Between mini tutorials on how to create an RSS reader to an avatar, I got the feeling that Jeff was slowly nudging me to embrace the web 2.0. I felt like he was saying, “Look at all the cool things you can do out here, Kehri. You can connect with people outside of your building. They, too, have insecurities and qualms about being ‘out there.’ But look at the possibilities…”
I met with the third grade team for our unit of inquiry on people, culture and the arts. We were challenged by the concept of perspective and how we were to tackle this concept with our students. I needed more time to think about it. I walked back to my room feeling a bit defeated that I couldn’t offer any ideas. Maybe I was too tired to think and needed to de-stress? I logged onto Facebook (gasp!) to see if there were any two-minute puppy videos to get my mind off work. It’s my way of unwinding. Don’t hate. Something on the left side of the screen caught my eye: my Facebook groups. Hmm…I paused my video, clicked on one of my music education groups and started typing. Who am I and why am I posting something for the world to see? Are you mad?! No. Just desperate. I submitted the post, finished my puppy video, filed student work and prepared my instruments for the following day. I was getting ready to pack my things, but then saw that I had notifications. Curious, I logged onto Facebook again and realized that I had gotten responses. So. Many. Responses. Music teachers unite! They shared resources. They shared ideas. They shared their words of wisdom. My heart was full and my brain was on overdrive. I stayed a bit longer to collect these new ideas and excitedly created a plan of action to present to my team.
My music department just got bigger. So yeah, you’re right. I AM checking Facebook. AT WORK.