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Post 200: growing like a weed

February 18, 2011

116 days ago, I completed my 100th blog post, right on the eve of the birth of my daughter. Back then, I knew something great was in the works, but I really had no idea.

Almost 4 months later, here is what she’s become:

I really can’t begin to describe how much she’s learning every day, how much joy she gets from every new experience, how much she’s growing, or how fond I’ve become of her.

As a proud father, I can’t help but find some parallels in my own teaching. Though I’ve been at it for more than 10 years now, I really feel like it my real learning began to take place when I started this blog—putting my thoughts out there, newborn and incomplete, and watch as interactions with dozens of incredible teachers near and far helped my ideas to grow, toddle around, and take flight. It really is extraordinary. And, like the totally inexperienced father that I am, I am happily aware of just how little I understand and look forward to all the simultaneously wonderful and scary adventures that lay ahead.

So if you aren’t up for adding a child to your life to get a sense just how quickly a human can learn, and witness the joy of discovering the world anew, I’d encourage you to set up a blog—it’s far cheaper, and you won’t have any dirty diapers to deal with.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna Moore permalink
    February 19, 2011 11:12 pm

    I love it! Of course, blogs don’t typically wake you up at 2 am demanding to have a diaper change. Although, I suppose they may keep you up “demainding to be fed.” ? I really like the comparison of how a blog helps a teacher grow… we say “it takes a village” to raise a child. Maybe it takes a village to train, sustain, and nurture a teacher? That has been my experience. Sure, I could have plodded along, in my own classroom, with my own textbook, and taught my students “some facts.” I think I might have been an okay teacher doing that… certainly not THE WORST teacher my students have had. But, I did not choose this line of work simply to avoid being the worst. Obviously, I want to do more for my students. And, I agree with you that opportunities (technological or otherwise) that allow me to engage with other teachers have proven to be the most powerful and encouraging for me as a teacher. Maybe the next level in your great analogy would be to point out that babies are totally dependent on adults around them… they are fully vulnerable. As a teacher, when I find the courage to be vulnerable with other teachers, I often find some of the greatest moments for my own learning and growth.

    • February 20, 2011 9:14 am

      This is a great extension of the analogy. I love it takes a village, and I think you’re right that seeing the vulnerability of other teachers is critical to growing as a new teacher. When I started teaching at a school where everyone seemed to be an amazing teacher, I remember many exhausted evenings when I thought I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher, and it wasn’t until I found a mentor outside my discipline who explained to me some of his early and current stuggles that I realized great teachers aren’t born that way, they work at it day by day.

      Frank and I are just about ready to launch our Pseudoteaching series, which will hopefully encourage teachers of all levels to open up and share those moments where the reality of out students learning doesn’t match the wiz bang “awesomeness” of our lessons, and use them as learning opportunities both for ourselves and others. Stay tuned.


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