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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Deciding to be a great teacher: it starts with YOU!

Teaching is a profession. Teaching is also a decision.

I decide if I am going to teach. Each and every day, I decide if I am going to teach. Just because I'm called a teacher doesn't mean anything.

Some beautiful students from Japan, China, Hawaii and Georgia at Flat Classroom Live in Hawaii last week. I love students!! We had a blast at Punahou School. Thanks to Emily McCarren for inviting me and Julie Lindsay. It was great!

I can call you a car and ask you to sit in my garage but if you don't have 4 wheels and a motor, you're not going to take me anywhere.

Every morning as I wake up to face my day, I start gearing up to teach. Speaking is pretty easy for me because preparing for a keynote feels a lot like preparing for class with one exception. Teenagers are a much tougher audience than you beautiful, wonderful educators out there.

If you have too long of a gap or you're caught unprepared you might end up with a mess on your hands.

Do I upgrade and make it hard or keep it the same and go easy?

This year, I was faced with a decision. Do I stick with Windows 7 and the last version of office or upgrade to Office 2013? I had no choice. I have decided to keep my students on the leading bleeding edge of technology where it hurts. Often, it hurts me more than anything as I have to update my plans and create new tutorials. Everything ends up being new. It hurts, but it fits with my decision.

My decision is to have, as far as I know it, one of the leading technology education programs in the world for high schoolers. We don't have the money to have such a program but really, as long as my computers are 4 years old or less, the only thing it costs me is myself.

Decisions. Decisions.

I have decided to teach. I decide to teach every single day.I teach with decisions. I teach with my life. I teach with my own willingness to put myself out there and learn new things even when I feel clueless.

If teaching is a decision and a lifestyle, learning is too. Those precious children decide if they are going to learn from you. If you decide to teach, they have to decide to learn from you.

But inherent in my decision to teach is my decision and commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get their attention. Sing, dance, swing from the rafters, turn off the lights and use lasers to teach about fiber optics. Whatever it takes. This, as you know, those of you rebels among our profession who are insanely committed to our craft - this takes everything we have.

Teacherpreneurs like us are all out committed. We are committed with heart, soul, and mind and will not stop until the last bell rings on the last day of school.

Deciding to teach doesn't mean we're perfect. It means that when we mess up and fall down that we get up and start over. It means that we don't quit. It means that the only failure we cannot accept is quitting because failure is a daily part of what happens in our classrooms.

We need admins to protect the teacher's heart

This is why anything that tries to kill the heart of a teacher should be watched for closely by administrators. Such tenacious commitment takes a lot of time, heart and energy. So, when you have others on staff who aren't in the classroom who make it extremely difficult for teachers -- Those who create hurdles.-- Those who are rude. --- Those who just try to be a pain because they can... you have to watch for that because with the amount of effort that it takes to make the decision and carry through with that decision to teach... we teachers don't have a lot of energy for other guff from non-classroom spaces.

Will you decide to teach?

Teaching is a decision. It takes all you have. But as anyone who has given their heart and soul to such a worthy cause will tell you, students give back far more than you could ever give. My heart and soul are overjoyed with the presence of my students.

Teaching is a profession. Teaching is also a decision. It is a decision you make each and every day.


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