I've been feeling rather frustrated lately as I've been planning for next year. Not frustrated with the flipped classroom, but frustrated with myself, I guess. It's hard to pinpoint.
I guess I am someone that always wants to have it all together, and the more I think, read, and reflect, the more I realize how much I don't have it all together. And I have come to the point that I must learn to be okay with that.
|I tweeted this a little bit ago, and I think it helps to state a little how I'm feeling...|
What I didn't expect was that so many people would start reading this blog and coming to me for advice on how to start their own flipped classrooms. Don't get me wrong - I love that I actually have people reading and commenting on what I am writing. I love sharing my experiences with other people and giving tips on what I have seen work in my classroom. It is always fun to get a comment or an email in my inbox asking follow-up questions and thanking me for blogging. I've gotten some pretty amazing compliments in those emails ("You have inspired me!" "You are the most amazing teacher ever!" "You have made such a difference in my teaching!"), but they oftentimes remind me just as much how unworthy I am to receive those words of praise.
Hence, my tweet. If anything, this summer has conveyed one thing to me: I really don't know much at all. I'm far from an expert. As "expert" as some people may think that I am, I remind myself that I don't really know it all and I don't really have it all together. And do you know what? I think that's okay. In fact, I know that that's okay.
I am a teacher on a journey. A journey I am writing about for the public to follow and engage with, should they choose. I am not an expert and I don't claim to know all the answers, even if others expect me somehow to know it all. I am willing to try new things... and possibly fail at them. I am willing to share my opinion... and not have people agree with me (although I'm still not very good at that second part yet :)). And most of all, I am willing to write about my journey, my successes and my failures, in a public forum for anyone to read. It's a scary endeavor, if you think about it. Not too many people are willing to put themselves out there like this.
However, sometimes I feel like because of my experience, I'm supposed to know all the answers. Like I'm supposed to know the best way to do this and the right way to do that and come up with brilliant ideas of how to effectively communicate a certain idea. At those points I must come the point where I realize that people enjoy honest sharing (because deep down if we admit it, we can all relate), and true members of my PLN won't really care if my ideas aren't perfect or if my plans don't necessarily lead to success the first time around.
I have encountered some very seemingly cocky educators this year, whether on twitter, blogs, or during the summer at ISTE (many of whom I've seen on blogs or twitter), at least that is how I perceived them. Educators who seemed from the outside to have it all together, to know exactly the right way to do things (their way, of course), and had no problem discounting others' ideas. They blatantly talk down on others in public forums. It almost disgusts me. Then I met some educators who I thought were "experts", only to find out that they are just like me - educators on a journey, willing to share, wanting to grow, and desiring to find out more how to help our students be successful. These are the type of people I want to surround myself with, this is the type of person I want to be.
I'm writing for myself and my professional growth and learning. I just have the privilege of walking this journey with some other amazing educators because we are all willing to share openly and honestly about our journeys.
I am honored that you have found my experiences helpful to your practice.
I am blown away that my ideas have transcended my classroom and are being used all across the country.
I am excited when I receive questions and comments regarding what I am doing in my flipped classroom.
I will continue to blog, writing and reflecting on my experiences and new knowledge gained.
I will continue to share, knowing that others can benefit from my ideas and will share their ideas right back - then we can all learn!
I will continue to question, read, research, think, analyze, and discover - because there is always more to learn.
But I am not an expert.
I like to blog.
I love to share ideas.
I want to continually grow and improve my practice.
I want my students to succeed at their highest levels.
I don't know everything (not even close), I never will, and I can admit that openly.
Thank you for joining me on my journey.