Teaching is a funny beast. As teachers we strive to connect with our students on so many levels, helping them to connect and achieve more in regards to our subjects. We are driven by standards, objectives, state and national policies on education as well as balancing standarized tests with our own curriculum that we have to trim and fit each year. Now, the Maker Movement, STEM or STEAM, 1:1, Educational Technology, and so many other initiative and strategies are constantly on the tips of our tongues as we are "looking to the future" of education.
But I am a teacher...right now
What can I do?
I am really excited about the next few days. There is an excellent conference that happens in Hong Kong each year called the 21st Century Learning Conference. It was at this conference that my passion for EdTech was cemented. This conference offeres an opportunity to learn so much new information. Honestly, it would take the rest of the semester to fully investigate everything I learn about. I am starting to really get focused on setting goals for different opportunities that come and my main goal (outside of learning about incredible new strategies) is to meet and get to know some of these talented tech coaches attending.
On top of being a part of the conference as an attendee, I also have the opportunity to present with my colleague and fellow "voluntary" tech coach Shannon. He and I will be presenting on using iMovie to create Hooks for the classroom. This will be the first "big" conference presentation which is really exciting! I am fully embracing the #gloriousfailure ideal by going out on a limb and getting my presenter experiences started. Here is the trailer for our talk: Enjoy!
We have all experienced it. The moment of truth. Everything that you have prepared for, trained for, sacrificed for has come.
No time left on the clock.
The final shot is in your hands.
You take the shot, throw the pass, take a swing and everything ends.
Your goal was not accomplished. The dreams are "shattered".
Or maybe you've just begun
Author and playwright Samuel Beckett wrote, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." This quote should be the mantra of all mankind in every sort of act that can bring a positive change into our world. Think about a lesson plan, an assessment, a project that you felt would have been the PERFECT fit and how when you presented it to your students it floundered. There was no life support that could bring that one back. It was gone, extinct and forgotten in the records room of the warehouse where "lost lesson plans go".
"Try Again. Fail again. Fail better"
As teachers, at least sometime in our career we have made reference to how many experiments it took Edison to figure out the lightbulb, how many shots Michael Jordan missed, or how Einstein failed math. The point is we can't give up. We become this Glorious Failure. This optimistic being of exploration focused on continually trying to better their situation.
So that is what I am going to write about. I want to share the failures and successes in my experience as a teacher, online instructor and instructional technology coach. It's going to be a wild ride, only the Lord above knows what's coming, so let's hang on as tight as we can, knowing we are going to have a crash along the way!
Taylor currently serves as a Coordinator of Innovative Learning for a mid-sized school district in Texas. He is a speaker, writer, and coach for all who are in conflict with the status quo.