Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Do You Share? (28/31)
Reading through my Twitter feed, I came upon this Tweet from Dr. Justin Tarte. If you don't follow him, you should. He's a Pretty Smart Guy.
Anyway, last night he asked if you would share all your lesson plans from your entire career with a brand new teacher for free.
I answered absolutely,
I didn't teach right out of college. I had a different career for a few years. Stayed home with our boys for a few years. I subbed for awhile and was a paraprofessional for several years. When I finally took the 7th grade English position in our district, I was thrilled. I met with the head of the department and asked what I should be teaching. I expected a syllabus, at the very least.
"Whatever you want," was the response. I was shocked. Scared. Nervous. Confused. What was I supposed to do?
I made it up as I went along.
But after that, all along the way, I worked with fabulous teachers who shared. "Why reinvent the wheel?" they'd say.
In junior high, there was the Tech God, who did such fun, inventive assignments with his TAG kids. He never hesitated to share what he was doing with me. He'd share the technology, he'd share his plans, he'd share the "worksheets" that went along with it. He created units the whole grade would work on. And he never expected anything in return.
Fast forward a few years. I moved up to the high school. I was assigned Speech, Drama, and English 9. Speech and Drama I had to create from scratch. No one had been teaching them. It was stressful coming up with plans each week. But luckily, Roomie was willing to share everything she did in English 9. And I do mean everything. "Take what you want to copy," she said.
And copy I did.
I changed things up as I went along. Changed things up a bit to reflect me a bit more. But it sure was nice to have a place to start!
And so, I pay it forward. I am always willing to share what I have. Not because I think I'm such a fantastic teacher. Not because I believe everyone should do things my way. I share because everyone needs a place to start from. It's hard enough to be a new teacher, in a new job, in a new building without having to reinvent the wheel!