Monday, April 26, 2010

#Mission Monday - Ask THAT Question

Happy #MissionMonday folks. I trust that you had a great weekend and that you are excited for another wonderful work week with your amazing students. For this week,  was trying to think of something good. I really wanted to focus on me and how I can grow as a teacher and a learner. I realized the only way that was going to happen was to do what my students do every day in my class.

Asking questions is how we learn. However, as teachers, we sometimes feel like we are not allowed to ask questions. As tech people in our respective buildings or districts, we are the ones that have to have the answers for everything. It might be a hardware issue or a software issues, but we are expected to have the answer and make everything work when asked. We can't be afraid to say, "I'm not sure. Can I get back to you on that one?" I love searching for the answers to problem I don't understand, but sometimes asking questions is the best and fastest way to learn something new.

Another part of asking questions I think people should think about is asking THAT question. Every district has rules as to why you cannot do this or that and we take many of them as they are and go about our teaching lives. We might not like these rules, but we accept them. Sometimes asking people, "Why?" is all that it takes to change the system. Some rules have been in place because of past management and new management has never thought about them because nobody asks. Forcing people to explain rules might actually make them realize the need to change those rules.

EX: I asked the powers at be if it would be possible to use Skype in my class in the near future. Now, we have so many filters in our district, I thought there was no way that it would be possible, but I decided to ask the question and see where it lead. I was surprised to find that it was something they are considering but were not sure of the interest. When I'm ready to try it, I just need to let them know and it will happen. A simple question might now open up Skype to other classrooms in the district because I asked THAT question.

Your #MissionMonday, if you choose to accept it, is to ask THAT question. It can be the question you have been afraid to ask your PLN about because it seems remedial or it can be a question about a policy you think is outdated and needs to be revisited. The world changes when questions ask. If teachers don't ask questions, how can we expect students to do the same?