BIT17 After Conference Thinking

I had another great learning experience at BIT17 this year. When I say “another” what I mean is that I’ve attended BIT15 and was overwhelmed (in a good way) with all the opportunities and activities available.

This year, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Doug Peterson @dougpete and Stephen Hurley @stephen_hurley on VoicEd Radio @voicEdcanada about my writing in this blog! To say I was flattered would be an understatement.  To say that now I want to start a podcast or be a radio star is also an understatement. This format is so much better than speaking in front of an audience or having an audience crowd around me to listen to someone else. Format = ideal.

I also had a brief conversation with Doug after the show and I said something that made me feel a little cowardly hearing it out loud.  We were talking about how this blog has changed over the few years I’ve been writing.  I started this blog discussing my elearning journey – and reviewing apps or programs and how I was using technology in the classroom. Slowly, it has changed into a more reflective blog with more of my personal thoughts and feelings.  I explained this by saying the more I read, the more I wanted to avoid social media “confrontations” about my writing. I don’t want to argue points, or be dragged for lazy annotation or referencing. While I want to give credit where credit is due, I wanted this “place” to be more casual and not a formal research paper.

While Doug did not accuse me of anything, I felt it myself when I heard my explanation. I do have thoughts about education and my role in the system.  I often disagree with things I see online, but I don’t start a debate over social media with strangers or well-known names in education. While I do agree discussion and debate are often positive and necessary for change, it’s just not what I wish to engage in with others.  I don’t do this because I often have the “gut” reaction that I just feel. I don’t have years of research, or pages of data, or multiple surveys and field studies. I have me in the class and what I’ve tried and what worked and what didn’t.

So my voice may be coming from a more “soft” side.  I record my observations and try to program my future based on those results.  My teaching transition has gone from seeing me stressed out about covering curriculum to seeing me as someone who interacts with individuals.  From unit tests to knowing something about each kid.  From hours of circling commas and capitals to making sure I look each person in the eye and speak to them at least once in our time together. Somewhere I lost the insanity of covering the topic and all costs to making a human connection. (and please don’t try to get me fired, I find that I have reached the curriculum by working backwards – the more I know about the students, the more I can teach them using issues that matter to them)

This job has me the happiest I’ve been in my teaching career.  I  am lucky enough to meet and interact with students from 12 different secondary schools. I’m slowly losing my nickname of “plagiarism nazi” and becoming the  “weird lady who remembers my interests”. While the old school Eva would love to throw down with even some of the most respected names I follow because I don’t believe in all the current education trends, the new and improved Eva is content to quietly continue to improve on the path I’m now treading.

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