January 10, 2008

Lesson #1 Share

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:05 am

One presentation I’m working on is called “Lesson#1 Share everything”. It’s based on Robert Fulgham’s book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. His first lesson is share everything. Of course my presentation will center around publishing and sharing ideas. I could write a book called All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Network.  Maybe not everything but obviously those who are part of my learning network and others can attest to its power and importance. This is the basis of the network, people’s desire and ability to share their learning.

I get really frustrated when someone tells me about an outstanding teacher and I can’t find hide nor hair of their work online. What a waste. If they are as good as others say they are, why not share that with others?  They’ll tell me their kids made a great video, learned something great from an experiment or gave a great presentation but it means very little to me unless I can be part of it too. But even those who have the means and understanding aren’t sharing like they ought to. Some even offline don’t share much. Part of it is culture. I remember the first conference I attended as a young teacher. In order to be reimbursed for my expenses, I had to complete not only an expense form but a form asking what I had learned and if I would be willing to share it with other teachers. I anxiously filled out all the neat stuff I had learned and happily checked the box indicating I would love to share. Never heard from it again. There was no mechanism in place that allowed for sharing other than the informal discussions in staff rooms. Most schools do not have expectations that sharing is part of our job. I don’t think we’ve always done this as some feel. This has to change. I’ve built it into my classes for pre-service teachers. Part of their grade is based on their contribution to others’ learning.  Our ideas about what we share has to change as well.

Claire Thompson writes,

I know that I am struggling to come up with a meaningful way to incorporate blogs into my science classes. If what I’m planning could just as easily be done as a traditional assignment, then why do it using blogs? An added challenge is that my classes consist of small groups of student’s working asynchronously. If we’re going to blog, it is going to have to be about big ideas in science, not the specific details of, say, the cell cycle.


But Claire, it’s not about you…it’s about sharing. Someone is interesting in the cell cycle. Read this if you don’t believe me. While I know that folks like Clarence, Darren, Chris and Kathy are awesome teachers, part of what makes them awesome is that we can see what they’re doing. There are other teachers doing good work, we just don’t see it.

So if you’re doing good work:share. If you’re doing a lousy job:keep it to yourself.

Image:Sharing by furiousgeorge81
http://flickr.com/photos/furiousgeorge81/177926979/

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