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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beg, Steal and Borrow

Let me tell you something, friends. If you are not on twitter, you are MISSING OUT. And I don't mean for personal reasons. Let twitter become your (actually useful) Professional Learning Community/Network. (I don't know about you, but my current school doesn't do PLCs and I am so grateful. Every PLC meeting I went to at my last school was totally useless.) However, my #PLN on twitter has literally saved my teaching life. Yes, I am a first year teacher. But please remember, most new teachers burn out and quit by year three. I could feel myself on that slippery slope with no back up plan in sight. I was considering nursing school, daycares, having a million children and staying home with them...it was getting bad. All I knew was that I had to get out of my school and fast. 

Wrong. Turns out the problem is not my school and not my students, the problem was me. I felt stuck, even though I have a great job with an excellent opportunity for next year. I was so beaten down by cscope and STAAR and everything else we have to do, that I had lost my joy of learning and teaching. I'm so grateful that I went to a round-table discussion on flipped classrooms and met Louise Morgan, a second grade teacher in my district. (You can view her blog here!) She announced that she was having a skype in the classroom training that Thursday and on a whim at noon that Thursday, I decided to go. 

Not only did I learn about skype in Louise's training, but I learned about mystery skype, and world read aloud day, and using twitter as a professional network. Since then I have learned about twitter chats (my favorites are #elempblchat, #geniushour and #flipclass), genius hour, and met some very resourceful and kind people. I spent the majority of my spring break on twitter, begging for help, stealing ideas, and borrowing resources. I came back to school ON FIRE

Sadly, that fire was dimmed by walking pneumonia and sinusitis, but I have had a steroid shot and am on a lot of medication. I predict a return to normalcy and FIRE tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest. :) 

Every teacher should have the opportunity to be as excited as I am now that I have "found" twitter. If you've been on the fence, let this push you over it. If you're already there, follow me! I am always looking for new connections and friends. 

Sincerely yours,
@mrslrausch

3 comments:

Louise Morgan said...

Awesome! I am SO glad you see the value in in Twitter. Now to get all of the other teachers in our district on board! LOL!

murcha said...

Hi Laura, I wish others would take up challenges and workshops on a 'whim' like you did. How do we get the message out to others that technology is an amazing tool for connecting, collaborating and creating? I am a teacher from Australia and have met Louise online through our Hello Little World Skype group. My students love using skype and so do I. Twitter is an amazing professional learning network and having used it for more than 5 years, can really attest to its amazing power. Take care, enjoy teaching and I wish that I was young as you are entering an amazing time to be working with students.

Marcie Stowell said...

Hi Laura,
I am also a first year 5th grade teacher in Texas and would LOVE to be able to trade and share ideas! I teach ELA and Social Studies in a Title 1 school and have toyed with the idea of a flipped classroom but unfortunately it would not work with the current population of kids I have - no computer or internet at home. It would be awesome to follow your experiences next year to see how it works! It would also be nice to have another teacher to bounce ideas off of. My email address is mscoloradogal at gmail dot com. I'm toying with the idea of starting a blog but haven't gotten that brave yet :)
Hope to hear from you!
Marcie

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