I am surrounded by a fantastic community of innovative teachers. All are looking for ways to innovate, excite, do things differently, connect and share. It is the most active community I have participated in, and we’re not looking at a single Facebook group – but several.
Here are some interesting discussions randomly picked from today’s Facebook feed:
“I would like to open the new school year with an activity based on a song, video clip or fun presentation – for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) for 7th-8th grade students. Recommendations?”
“This is my first year as a teacher in high school. I will be teaching Math. I am so excited and need help – where do I start? Where can I find relevant materials?”
“Hi guys Can anyone recommend apps or websites to do online tests ??”
“Hi all! I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks and am looking for any ice-breaker strategies you may have for Year 10 and Year 11 students? They were very loyal to their last teacher so I think I might have a struggle! Thanks all.”
“Teachers, here’s a guide for printing a full size poster on your home printer!” (Link in Hebrew).
“metacognition of writing skills : Using https://www.nomoremarking.com/…students compare each others’ work anonymously….some results are very surprising. All you do as a teacher is upload pieces of writing in the system. Students then judge 2 pieces of work at a time and choose which is the best one, and repeat for the next 2 pieces etc… you can add your own model text to ensure they are exposed to an excellent piece. The idea is they discuss what makes a good piece.. I used it with introductions when teaching essay writing, we were surprised to see that the best one didn’t come from our usual best students..you can analyse results, collect data to instruct following teaching…try it! it’s free! and very user friendly “
“Is “drilling” good practice in class? Teacher gives correct answer, pupils repeat as group, individuals repeat, group reinforces whenever the non verbal signal Is given. It was standard practice in Wales, when I trained, but does it aid progress because it helps more naturally inhibited pupils or is it too Pavlovian a practice? I don’t use it much, but significantly some pupils do It automatically. Comments?”
“Hi all, wondering whether anyone has put together a levels grid which encapsulates all 4 core skills? Trying to create something that we can work with effectively in department to replace in part the old national curriculum levels.”
This could go on and on… My point:
This international, cross border communications, advice, sharing, exchanging views and experience is giving a HUGE push to the profession of teaching. Teachers who participate are exposed not only to their own questions or findings, but to infinite amounts of unexpected knowledge and information.
This is SO exciting!!
Still, the majority of teachers in our schools are still left behind when it concerned online communications and social networks. While the connected teachers leap forward and bring the whole concept of teaching into a new era, those who don’t share, who play their cards close to their chest cannot see beyond and into the horizon.
I often meet educators who say “why should I share something I worked on?” – and the answer is simply the whole is bigger and better than its parts – share one and you will gain access to shared works of thousands. It will help you create better materials, it will empower your work and fire your inspiration.
Be a part of this movement to hack education, make it into a new living breathing creature of society.