I Choose to Be an Educator

As I write this, it’s just a little over eight years since I made the decision to get my teaching degree. 

At the time, I had no idea what I was really choosing to do. All I knew was that the job I had was killing me and destroying my little family and I had to do something different. 

So, it was teaching. Little did I know that I stumbled into what had always been my life’s calling. 

After the first year of my teacher training, I was a bit disillusioned. I thought I had made a mistake. Then, I went to an educational technology conference and it all clicked.

Until those three days, I was still thinking in my head like Bono from U2 that, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…”

But over the course of three days, I found exactly what I was looking for in the past 20 years. And I dove in. Hard. As I finished up my Bachelor’s degree and my student teaching, I was a different teacher. I had a purpose.

And that purpose has carried me since then through the classroom, multiple presentations and conferences, and into my current position as a digital learning coach.

Steve Jobs once said,

We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?

And I took that as my battle cry into every classroom and school I went to over the past eight years. In my mind, being an educator gives me a chance to put more dents in the universe than any other profession. Having the opportunity to guide students and help them on their way to understanding their world and their part in it is the greatest honor of my life.

So, if you work with me or work around me and are sometimes taken aback by my passion, my drive, my willingness to do more, please remember this:

I choose to be an educator and I’m just trying to make some dents.

How Many of Me?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our world continues to grow smaller with the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime at our fingertips using any number of technologies.

It’s interesting to see how we maintain our individuality amongst a sea of new connections and contexts as we move through our lives.

However, I saw on the Twitter that there’s a new way we can see just how small our world is (or how unique we are)

Yep. HowManyofMe.com exists.

Interestingly, when I use “Michael Paul”, I get over 1100 results.

But if I use “Mike Paul” I am only surrounded by 83 others.

I’ll keep going by “Mike”, thanks very much.

Try it out with your students. There is a question about being under the age of 13 (thanks COPPA) but the info passed through this site should be pretty harmless.

Technology in Society

Amidst my readings on digital citizenship, Carl showed up.

How you choose to feel about this statement likely determines a great deal about how you feel about technology usage in schools.

It’s not just about being able to grade things quickly or provide feedback to students faster than ever before.

It’s about understanding that we are surrounded on every side by technology and there’s only more coming. We can choose to ignore that and leave our students ill-prepared for a world we can’t imagine, or…

We can embrace technology and use it as an appropriate tool and show our students how they can do the same. Inside the classroom and out in the world.

Whether we choose to lead them or not, they’re going to have access and they’re going to use all sorts of technology. How they use it can be greatly influenced by how we lead and guide them.

Further Reading: