Tk34’s Weblog
The Trials of a ‘Rookie’ Blogger

It’s OK to be Selfish?

I have received many responses to my last post “There is Still Hope ” which I wrote after hearing a discussion by Dean Shareski. The comments I have received continue to bring up one key point . . . being selfish. I read Ryan Flood’s post where he wrote the following:

Dean’s 1st point of his ‘5 Big Ideas’ really hit home with me. He said that it’s important to get past the instinctive and immediate question of “How is this going to help me in the classroom?” Using RSS feeds, and being part of a network of ‘bloggers is not likely to provide any great immediate benefit to one’s classroom teaching. This is something that will take some time. First one will need to put in the work to build the network and create relationships in that network. This is something that I often find difficult to get past. I often find myself saying “That is great, but how can that help me?” I suppose those are good questions to ask as an educator.

I guess as an educator, I have these same thoughts a lot. I understand the importance of the internet and the tools it offers . . . I too see the potential it provides. Unfortunately, like most educators, I often put my job before myself!! I see more value in the technologies when I see how they can potentially improve my classes and student learning . . . I am not so worried about myself!! I want to integrate these tools into my classes so my students benefit!! I often get frustrated wondering how ‘this’ or ‘that’ technology can be used in my classes, I want immediate results . . . I need to remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!!

I realize that immediate gratification of student use and success is probably unrealistic. I do not want to use technology ‘just because’. I want to effectively use it to its full potential. For this to happen, I guess I need to be a bit more selfish and truly gain a better understanding of the Web and its tools myself. See what they really have to offer. I will start to build my ‘Rome’ one small ‘click’ at a time. I am sure my students will appreciate it.

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5 Responses to “It’s OK to be Selfish?”

  1. It isn’t selfish to want to prepare yourself in the best possible way to effectively use technology to enrich learning.

  2. I never really thought about it until Dean mentioned it, I always feel guilty for not responding to a post or reading others, but I think my learning is my learning and being selfish really helps me in my learning journey.

  3. I understand what Dean was getting at when he used the word “Selfish”; however, I’m not sure it is the most appropriate representation of his ideas.

    It’s interesting that most teachers feel guilty about “playing”
    and investigating new approaches. We shouldn’t feel guilty and it’s not selfish. I see it as PD and a very necessary part of the puzzle.

    Selfish makes it appear like it’s all about me. If that’s the case, I’d rather be fishing.

  4. That’s a good point Ken. I guess the selfish part for me goes beyond play. Teachers are very quick to learn in order to pass it along to kids. Sometimes it’s okay to learn because you want to learn it whether or not it ever directly transfers to students shouldn’t matter. The idea of life-long learning hasn’t been clearly demonstrated to our students. Most kids think of teachers as only being interested in curriculum. Modeling your learning in “unschool like” topics or methods is important. We’re too quick to jump to the “how does this fit into my classroom” question. Maybe there is a classroom connection and maybe there isn’t. The process of being selfish means you don’t have to learn about something because it’s going to directly help students. You have to learn because it’s part of being a human being. We are naturally wired to be curious and now are able to quench our curiosity in some very interesting ways.

    If we can demonstrate to ourselves that we can learn and unlearn anything, it can help but be beneficial to students.

  5. Dean wrote, “The process of being selfish means you don’t have to learn about something because it’s going to directly help students. You have to learn because it’s part of being a human being. We are naturally wired to be curious and now are able to quench our curiosity in some very interesting ways.” Yet, often completely unrelated areas of interest that leads to personal learning can lead to a connection to students to what one is teaching. I guess the only limitation to my argument would be if your interest/ research was in only in a specific area… limiting connections. I assume lifelong learning would encompass a number of areas as we grow, creating further areas of context for our students.


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