A common question of “tech geeks” and those that are already implementing technology integration in classrooms is, “Why won’t teachers use ____. Why are they hesitant?” Have you ever been really good at something: Baseball, art, giving speeches? And then, all of a sudden you are faced with something new in the industry that completely redefines its’ practices? I have, and millions of educators have as well.
Most teachers (I hope) are in the industry because they care about the greater good of humanity. They want to make a change, and genuinely care about society and children. Our career is changing. Some teachers have been “highly effective” for years, and now, they are grappling with questions like: Am I good enough? What happens if using iPads in my classroom doesn’t work? These are tough questions that attack the very core of why teachers do what they do. They want to know that they are doing something to create change and that they matter.
So what do we do to help those teachers that are hesitant to fail? Encourage them. Principals, please be supportive of your teachers. Allow them to understand that if they “go out on a limb” to do something that impacts children in a positive way and they fail, it is ok. That doesn’t make them a failure, and it doesn’t mean they are a “bad” teacher.
To be completely transparent, even I have allowed fear of failure hold back my actions in the classroom. Ever heard of genius hour? Yeah, me too, and I have been “meaning to get to that” for an entire school year. However, fear of failure and uncertainty have held me back. This year, my plan of action is to go to my principal and say, “I want to try genius hour because it what I believe my students need. If I fail, I fail, but I have to try.”
So with that being said, if you are a genius hour guru I need your help!
To those that are hesitant to take the next step in their career, whether it be implementing iPads, using augmented reality, or setting up a genius hour. I connect with your feeling of fear. Reach out into the twitterverse and ask for help. Email me, and maybe I can help or I will connect you with someone who has had experience with what you want to implement. Look around your school or district and find a teacher that may be doing what you want to do and ask for help. Today is the day to start doing great things in our classrooms.