Teacher Feature #46 – Sharing the Light

As the current year draws to a close, I have been pondering what message I might include in this month’s “Teacher Feature” remix. I must thank Kevin Hodgson, a talented Grade 6 teacher, for inspiring me. Yesterday, Kevin entered the following comment in my previous blog post:

This is the kind of reflective practice that I cherish in DS106 and all of its assorted connected cousins. Thanks.

Teacher Feature #46 - Edith Wharton - 400x300
Teacher Feature #46 – Edith Wharton – December, 2014

Wanting to learn more about this individual, who graciously took the time to read and comment on my blog post, I did some research. I was delighted when I clicked on his hyper-linked name at the top of his comment.  Not only did it take me to his “Kevin’s Meandering Mind” blog, I also found his Dec. 23rd blog entry entitled “Annotating a Connected Song”.

His animated music video “Writing on the Wall” resonated with me because Kevin created this song as a tribute to all those who have influenced him over the past year. Furthermore, I was delighted that he took the time to share the important “behind the scenes” steps that he takes when creating a song. So often in education, we are overwhelmed by a student’s finished product, be it a well-researched blog post or essay, a musical composition, a thought-provoking poem, a complex computer program, a sculpture, or a collaborative video. What we often fail to recognize are the steps and revisions taken to create the final product. Kevin, through this reflective process, demonstrates the “messiness” that is part of the creation of his animated music video tribute.

Kevin caused me to reflect on my sharing, as well. I must admit when I was an Educational Computer Consultant, working with students and staff in K-12 schools, I generated a number of educational resources which I willingly shared with others. It was the day-to-day interaction with educators that provided me with the motivation to produce and share ideas and resources. Now that I am in my seventh year of retirement, I find that I no longer have the daily requests for help and, as such, do not create as many relevant resources to share.

To reflect on the “Teacher Feature” message above, I find that my educational role is becoming less of a candle and more of a mirror. True, I may no longer produce up-to-date, step-by-step resources like I once did, but I still can share the light. I would hope that through my connections with a very dedicated PLN of educators, my serendipitous discovery of new ideas and resources, together with my innovative colleagues in DS106, I can reflect and share their creative ideas with my readers.

With such connections … the educational future looks bright indeed!

Take care & keep smiling :-)

Larger Image: Brian Metcalfe’s Teacher Feature “photostream”

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2 Responses to Teacher Feature #46 – Sharing the Light

  1. Brian,
    My husband just retired from teaching last term, and your thoughts give me a new way to think about his struggle to adjust–it is a matter of making that transition from candle to mirror. Both are valuable contributions to society. I’m still in the traces, to switch metaphors!

    Wharton’s quote reminds me of a structurally related Twain quote, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

  2. admin says:

    Hi Sandy … I wish you and your husband all the best in 2015. While creating this “Teacher Feature”, with Edith Wharton’s thought-provoking quote, I was reflecting on how my own educational role has changed over the past seven years, since I retired. My Dad’s philosophy on life was simple yet profound. He used to say that each of us was placed on this earth for a purpose. We are to be a contributing member of society and know that when we pass on, we should have made the world a better place in some aspect. Dedicated educators, I believe, have a “head start” at making the world a better place through their students. Obviously your husband can continue to make the world a better place by reflecting the light and sharing the positive ideas and resources of others.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

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