Confessions of A Tech Specialist: I am NOT the Norm

I am not what one would call an the “average” teacher and if you are reading this, chances are…neither are you. It’s easy for me to rethink what the classroom should be and adjust accordingly. It’s a simple task for me to think outside of the box…far from the intended instructions and repurpose how we interact with tools for learning. I don’t see things as most people. Rules are meant to be broken. There is no such thing as “no” and permission is not something that I’m good at waiting for. Learning is my normal.

This is not the norm…

A few moments ago, I found myself arguing with myself against the use of a certain tool. For me, it wasn’t new…innovative or even necessary because I know how to use multiple tools to accomplish the task that this ONE tool accomplishes. I could not see beyond my own abilities.

And then it hit me…

I am NOT the norm.

For teachers who are still struggling to be where I am, this tool may just be the “thing” needed for them to get there. Maybe this tool will help them to rethink their classrooms and in doing so accomplish much more than their norm.

The point of this reflection is not in giving a single tool any credit for what great pedagogy is but in understanding my own thoughts…and limitations.

As a “tech expert”, it’s important that we see beyond what “we already do” and consider the implications on learning for teachers who are not us. I have to also be mindful of our weakest links for change…the teacher who is scared to death of change.

That does not mean that I make decisions based on the weakest but that I consider that just because something is obvious to me does not mean that it is obvious to them.

I am not the norm and now I’ll continue by looking through the lens of those that have yet to adopt the idea that different is good and must be worked towards. Doing this will enable me to think outside of my own box and into the spaces of others.

To be clear, it’s not about the tool but about the thinking.

In order to help teachers to rethink their beliefs, I have to start with rethinking my own.

It’s time to walk around in their shoes.

Comments 3

  1. Nice points to remember here. For myself I would also include a reminder that the environment, any environment, has likely changed significantly since when I learned how to use a specific tech tool or strategy. What I learned when I learned, might not be useful advice to someone right now. I often read edtech advocates that take this for granted.

    1. Post

      Thank you for your feedback Glen! I definitely have to be reminded that the environment has significantly changed. We have to learn to adapt.

  2. When you can step back and take an objective look at yourself – you can learn and grow. Reflecting and understanding how you do things is something that many people don’t want to know. When I went through National Board Certification reflection was a part of each piece I had to submit. Looking at myself and admitting that I wasn’t perfect allowed me to “check” myself. I was able to take what I learned and share it with others. It also allowed me room to grow and reach out to others. Rafranz – YOU are my ” go to” person! You’re wonderful!

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