Thousands of educators swarmed Austin, TX last week for the TCEA18 Conference. There were educators from all over the country, and even some outside the U.S. I had a great conversation with some new friends from Canada! You could feel the energy in the Convention Center as a ton of collaborating and communicating was happening between educators that either just met or maybe run into each other every February when TCEA rolls around again.
I always marvel at the way the “4 C’s” shine through this week:
- Creativity and Innovation
- Critical Thinking
Twitter explodes with all these amazing insights and ideas. People are liking and retweeting at a furious pace. It is the apex of technology and education. Then it happens…
…we go home. Much of the excitement falls away as we get “back to the grind”. Those amazing ideas now seem distant as we are faced with “reality”. All of a sudden we don’t feel we can do any of this: I don’t have time… my team won’t come around… administration will never agree to this… the list goes on. We don’t just see this after a major conference either. It happens after every good training you have ever gone to. You are fired up when you are there, and just as quickly you are back to where you were and those ambitions seem miles away. It is time to push past these roadblocks and get to implementing what we know will be amazing activities for our students. They deserve it, and so do we!
Try using these 5 keys to help keep you on track:
- Start small. I know we often leave a training or conference with about 15 things we are going to incorporate tomorrow. It doesn’t work that way. Pick one thing to start with and follow through with it. When you see and feel success it will push you to the next project.
- Bring a partner, or at least have one that can hold you accountable. Ideally this is a team teacher or someone else that teaches what you do. This way you can push each other past those rough spots.
- Create a plan. This seems very easy, but it is also effective. Set timelines and goals for the activity. Calendar reminders work well for me.
- Put it in your lesson plans and be realistic about the time frame. If it is there, you then have to allow time for it. This can get you moving.
- Tell everyone what you are going to do. If you publicize it, people will more than likely ask how it is going. This gives you a push to keep moving in the right direction.
By following these keys you are setting yourself, and your students, up for success. Finally, when the activity is done, share it! Jump on Twitter and share out your story. Motivate others to do the same.