"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Monday, 24 March 2014

My favorite words.. Creative, Innovative, Passionate and Enthusiastic

So I am sitting at my computer applying for my job and have decided to take a break. There are a lot of points to be met in the selection criteria and right now it has taken me a few hours and I need a break. You know I don't know about you but "selling your wares/ experience" is not something that comes naturally to me. I'm not really someone who likes to blow my trumpet at all the things I can do. For the most part I just do my job and try to excel in everything I do and hope that is enough to get the job done.  More than ever in this tough job market I find myself reflecting on what it is that I do and now I feel exhausted. Teaching certainly isn't for the faint-hearted and anyone who tells you we only work 9-3pm is not a teacher!

So as I type away I have been reflecting on my core values and philosophy as a teacher and I have come up with this. 
"Providing quality, innovative, creative and enthusiastic teaching and learning environments for students is what drives me to work each day. I am passionate about building skills and confidence in students as well as providing professional development for colleagues particularly in the area of technology and education. "
I have thought about the teachers in my life who inspired me both at school, uni and TAFE and I find that they possess many of these qualities. You can't be a champion for your students without enthusiasm. They need encouragement and support. You can't engage them without creativity. Creativity allows you freedom to engage with them as learners both individually and as a class to meet the learning outcomes and allows them to develop of their skills and builds confidence in learning. You need passion about what you teach because it is the thing that drives you to continually learn and improve upon your skills and knowledge because it is so exciting and interesting and has the potential to impact your life.  You need innovation otherwise you become stale. Innovation allows you to try things out, make mistakes and improve upon methods and systems in order to drive change or gives you freedom to think outside the box. 

Teaching is a wonderful profession and it has enriched my life in many ways. There have been many students that I have taught that have greatly humbled me as a person through their personal struggles and there is so much more to this job than meeting outcomes and implementing syllabuses. 

So in this blog post I celebrate teaching and my four favorite words... Creative, Innovative, Passionate and Enthusiastic. I hope you can find some of these elements in your teaching today. 

Until next week,

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Does technology make us disconnected?

Seiko Wrist Computer
There is no doubt that technology has majorly impacted our lives. If you think back over the last twenty years you will probably remember some pieces of technology that no longer exist. Technology has moved at such a fast pace that not only do we bank, shop, socialise and express ourselves and our opinions online that the online world is fast becoming the new 'norm' in our lives. Marketing companies are analysing data to show us customised ads so we will buy certain products. So using technology in the work place also become the better part of the new 'normal' in how we go about business. 

Image by Bigstockphotos.com

Technology has traditionally been created to give us more time. Thank goodness someone invented the wheel. Cars, boats and aeroplanes have greatly assisted us with travel and they do save us a lot of time getting from place to place (provided you aren't sitting in traffic). Once personal computers were invented we suddenly had new ways of doing the old ways more efficiently. Email revolutionised the way we communicate with family, friends and work. Social Media has now taken over the way we communicate in an online capacity and we as humans seem to be forever chasing our tails to find the new and latest thing. So in all of this are we any more connected to the people we love, share our lives with or work with? 

15 year old Blake Seitz sums is all up, "Why talk to someone face to face when you can just write them an email? Communication is key to relationships, and relationships are key to life."

"Multitasking is another problem. Listening to your friend while tapping out a text message, reading an instant message, and listening to music—in my opinion, that’s a recipe for relationship disaster."

Mmmm... Clearly this 15 year old has some sense that relationships need to be maintained with a level of engagement that goes beyond technology. Surely there has to be a balance between how much we use technology to make our lives easier and how much it becomes the focus of our lives. Clearly we all have a rational head in our brains somewhere and you cant blame technology for all ones relationship problems. Having a chat with a friend over a nice cup of coffee or tea just can't be replaced with technology. There must be balance in the force!

So next time you feel that technology is taking over your life stop and phone a friend and organise a face to face catch up and have a laugh together. 

Until next week,