Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#ISTE10: Man in the Mirror

I was sitting at #ISTE blogging and listening to music the other day when Michael Jackson's song, "Man in the Mirror" and made me think a little abbot about what teachers do and what the educators at #ISTE10 are doing.

"If you want to make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change."

This was the lyric that stood out most to me. I had a moment in the classroom where I realized that I could do more. After another MC test, I was frustrated that my students were not getting the material. Students in previous years were taught the same way and took the same test and did just fine. Clearly, the problem had to be with the students. Well, I was right and wrong. The "problem" was the students. They were not the same students from years past. It might have only been five years, but that is a generation in school years. It jus thit me that I needed to change the way I did things. Once I forced myself to evaluate my pracitces for one lesson, I started to look at my others lessons, then my units, then my projects, then my carreer. I decided that I was going to change the way I have taught for years because a teacher cannot remain static. I then decided to take my change and share it with the world. Now I'm at #ISTE10 surrounded by educators that want to "Make a change" as much as I do.

As the educators of #ISTE10 move from session to session, all of us have looked in the mirror and decided to start with ourselves. We need to be the change so we can make the change. The change can be small, district based movements or they can be large, conference based sessions. I've seen educators learn from others and it brings me the same joy as watching a students "get" a concept for the first time. The fact that we are all here shows that we are starting to make the change to make the educational world a better place.

Now, you don't have to be at #ISTE10 to start the change in yourself. Start small. Reading this blog is one way to change. Follow amazing educators on twitter. Follow the #ISTE10 stream to see what others have to say about sessions and best practices.

Being an educator is about having the passion to not only teach, but to learn. We all need to strive to grow and the Internet has allowed us to all come to gather through Social Media to accomplish that task. Do not be overwhelmed by the scope of #ISTE10, just stop and focus on the "Man in the Mirror" and you can be part of the educational change.

Let me hear about your thoughts on making the change and what made you decide to do it. Thanks for reading and I hope to share ideas with you in the future.

- @TheNerdyTeacher


  1. Two posts in a row that has inspired me to rethink my ways. First, the post about the creative classroom and how it cannot be a quiet one - wow. How many times I have caught myself shh'ing my students when they were really collaborating. I, like you, also read out-loud what I write and so do many of my students. Yet, we are so trained to think that a productive classroom is a quiet one. And now this post about being the change. Other teachers at my school think I am tech obsessed, and I may be, but someone has to start the tech integration even if others are reluctant to follow. I want to be the change, not just the one watching for it.

  2. Once again, thanks for a wonderful post! Just over a year ago, I decided to "make the change." I decided to apply for a technology grant for my classroom and to pursue my Master's degree. I joined Twitter and started reading blogs. I have reworked my lessons, units, and year plans as you did. You were one of the first people that caught my attention on Twitter and whose blog I started following regularly. So, thank you for making the change, and for sharing the change. Your little pebble of change has sent its ripples all the way up north of the border and I'm hoping that mine will continue to sent them on!

  3. Nick, I love the fact that you use your own background knowledge (the '80s) to make a change. This year I had an educator suggest that I try this new world of Twitter - and it already has made a great change in me. Change is very difficult for many of us, and we have to remember that small steps are OK - but some step must be taken if we are to keep with and prepare our students for the world ahead of them. Thanks again for the wonderful post (as always) - keep doing what you do to help us make our own changes.

  4. I love MJ and this song and I think it is a really good way to stop and think about where we are heading. Nice one!

  5. Those you love can be a mirror where you see your own reflection: the reflection of a person you do not want to meet face to face. But it is precisely the person you will need to meet, and despite his fear, it is not fraud, but it is not the man you thought he was either.

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