Sunday, October 18, 2009

Am I a digital teacher? Am I stupid or am I addicted to my job?

At our I-SITS meeting, Donna showed a video of a first year "digital teacher". The young woman in question was very definite in her opinions of her teaching methods and why they were the right ones for kids of the "digital generation". I found her presence irritating and arrogant and in response my back went up. Whatever she was saying might have been true, but I didn't want to listen to it.

On reflection, I wonder about my reaction to her. Is it that she is young, beautiful, and a recent graduate of UBC. (I checked her web page). Is it her definite "know-it-all attitude" that implies to my aging ears that she knows a whole lot more about effective teaching than I do. (I've been at it 29 years and I'm a graduate of the U of S Masters in Educational Communications program albeit 10 11 years ago.) In her defense, someone else has edited her talk, and perhaps presented her as being more forceful and know-it-all than she appears on the video.

I love being part of the I-SITS committee. I love the spirited debate, the thirst for knowledge, the camaraderie of educators that rejuvenates me and helps sustain me when I spend most of my weekend prepping "digital" lessons and marking. Right now, I'm trying to imagine this teacher or someone like her on this committee. Would she have anything to learn from us? Would she have the patience to teach us something or share with us her not-so-successful experiments in the classroom? I hope so. The video presentation doesn't leave me hopeful.

As I said, I've been teaching somewhere around 29 years. I'm still "prepping my face off". I feel guilty if I use the same lesson and lesson plan more than once without revising and enriching it. Somewhere in all of this, my "real life" continues to suffer? Am I stupid, inefficient or addicted to my job? I don't know. I still love to teach and prep lessons. I'd also really like a "life."