The Vulnerability of “Learning Publicly”

The last two sessions  “Intro to Connected/Learning Network” and “Sharing is Accountability” have given me a lot to think about.  Alec used the phrase “learning publicly,” and the idea really resonated with me.  Then today Dean Shareski said we are all doing research in our classrooms every day.  These ideas are so powerful.  We as teachers are exposing our thought processes, our methods, and even our very souls to the world.  We will get support and camaraderie, yes, but we should also welcome critique and scrutiny.  This is how any other academic discipline operates, and education should be no different.  We need people to challenge our ideas and stretch our thinking.  It is what we try to do with our students, and they should be able to see us striving to be that life-long learner as well.

Unfortunately, this is why many resist sharing so much.  It puts a person in a very vulnerable position.  It is hard for some teachers to admit that they don’t have all of the answers.  It is hard to admit that you’re struggling.  Would you want a parent of a student to see that?  Would it undermine your effectiveness?  I don’t think so.  Seeking out answers and asking for help is the mark of someone who desires growth.  That would be the kind of teacher I hope my children have.

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