Monday, February 27, 2012

Be Brave, Be 11, Share Your Passions!

Doug Peterson, a.k.a. @dougpete on Twitter, is a pretty inspirational guy. He reads a lot, thinks a lot, and shares a lot. I follow his blog and recently he wrote this post about an eleven-year old who was sharing his passion for cartooning via his blog. Doug cited Royan Lee (@royanlee on Twitter) and his post on mind mapping as a comparable example to the pre-teen. Doug challenged his readers to act in a similar fashion.
Just like the eleven year old, this was a passion that they both have.  Both are sharing tips and successes that would be so helpful to others.  They’ll not get rich from it.  Other than this blog post, they may not even get recognition for their efforts.  But, they’re sharing what works for them.  It could serve as inspiration or motivation for other classrooms.  Why not?
Imagine the thousands of teachers who are teaching thousand of lessons right now as you read this post.  Imagine the shear sum of the passion and the effort that has gone into the development of those lessons.  What is it about our profession that we’re not all sharing our work via website, blog, wiki, Diigo, Delicious, Facebook, or pick your own sharing site?  What would happen if everyone took the time to share just one lesson that really worked this week?
I decided to accept Doug's challenge and I notified him I was taking up the gauntlet via Twitter.

I had always intended on sharing my lesson plans on my general wiki ( ) but I had never gotten around to it. Part of it involves self-doubt - which lessons would people actually want? Are any of these lessons any good? What if the lesson worked well for one class and bombed for another; should I still share it? Are some of these lessons out-of-date? Is it worth the time and effort? In the end, I chose to put up several complete units, lessons I compiled for my "Media Lit Lesson Kit" (because I find teachers struggle with teaching media literacy in the primary grades), lessons that incorporate video games, and some recent creations on the Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading / Blue Spruce nominees for 2012.
Doug, in his fantastic, supportive way, immediately provided me with feedback via another blog post about my wikis. What will be interesting is if I get any feedback or interaction. I never write my blogs or wikis expecting to attract a large readership - although I am surprised to learn who does and doesn't read my blog (including people from the Ministry of Education). Will people just download the files and steal away in the night? Or will they comment ("that lesson was terrible!" or "that lesson was great - do you have one on X?") or discuss?
So what are my passions? They change, depending on what I'm teaching or reading or thinking about. This year, thanks to my wonderful Gaming PLC (Liam O'Donnell - @liamodonnell - and Denise Colby - @Niecsa) I've been quite immersed in gaming and education. Media literacy, comics, student choice for reading, web 2.0 tools/social media, these are also interests of mine. However, you never know when a "plain ol' lesson" shared inspires something exciting and passionate in someone else - so please, let me know via the comments section of this blog what sort of lessons you'd like to see, what lessons look neat and which look scary - and let's share our passions! You can take a further step by joining Liam, Denise and me at our upcoming webinar called "Wanna Play? Gaming @ Your Library" on March 5 beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST at to learn more about one of my passions. Join us. Let's talk!

1 comment:

  1. I was so impressed that you shared not one, but two, great resources for teachers. I hope that people find you and take advantage of your generosity.