This idea has been rolling around in my brain for a while. Forgive me if I can't explain clearly what I am trying to say. But I have begun to realize that I am obsessed with technology. Not just enjoying it, not just utilizing tools, not just embedding it into my classroom. Obsessed. I spend as much waking time as possible online. My family, who also loves technology, often has to tell me to turn off the computer. I dream about technology. I dream about blogs I will write, widgets I will add to my site, tools I want to try out. Even in sleep I am not free. I think about technology when I am not near a computer, planning what to do the next time I am hooked up again. I spent an usual amount of time this summer purchasing a phone that would allow me easy access to the Internet.
So what does this have to do with being an Elementary Teacher?
I started thinking about my last 23 years in education. At first, I obsessed over how to teach: would I be able to manage the class, complete my lessons, keep the children engaged? Then I obsessed about content: do I have enough math manipulatives, did I copy enough maps for our social studies lesson, are all the science materials in the box? Soon I was obsessing about things not in the curriculum: improving staff development, addressing foreign policy in the classroom, teaching environmental awareness, learning more about the political system, coming up with better management systems, teaching other teachers all I have learned.
And now I realize that the rub about being an elementary teacher is that we teach everything. We don't just teach math. If we did, we could focus just on math, meeting with other math teachers, looking at math sites, going to math conferences. We don't just teach social studies. So our focus can't be just on learning GoogleEarth, joining foreign policy boards, watching political documentaries. We are not just tech coordinates, with a focus on all the latest and greatest technologies out there. We do it all.
So each time I find a new obsession, I add it to my classroom and my life. I revisit obsessions from time to time, making sure I stay up to date and in touch with all that's happening in the field. At least as much as I can. After all, I am so consumed by my latest obsession that I really don't have that much time. In fact, I really must go...there's a new site I want to check out.