Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are teachers born or made?

Are teachers born or made?  I live in the realm of licensing, of pre-service teachers, certification and MATs. Yet, I have yet to come to terms with not only what makes a good teacher, but how does one become one? I am reminded of my colleagues that have no teaching certification what so ever, yet are some of the best teachers I know. I remember some of my fellow teachers that had all the right papers, but could never command a classroom. Why is that? I have tried to make sense of it all, and as proud as I am of my institution and the strives the we make, I have to recognize that some people are just born teachers. Maybe teaching is more like an art than a science. Artists can still be artists without all the fancy degrees, but yet people still go to school to hone their craft, to learn more why they do what they do. Does that make it a waste of time? Do they become better artists? How can we grow to respect teaching as a talent as much as or even more than a piece of paper can prove?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Edubloggercon 2010

Edubloggercon Group 2 - I'm walking in at the top of the stairs, didn't quite make the picture.
This was my 3rd Edubloggercon and one of the main reasons I enjoy attending ISTE. The unconference format really allows for flexibility and collaborative learning than a typical conference session.  I get much more out of discussions rather than lectures and I wish roundtables were more common at ISTE. I attended about four sessions and overall I enjoyed the experience. Steve Hargadon does a great job organizing it every year and I was surprised and delighted to see so many new people. However, there was something missing. I'm not sure if it was the size that EBC has grown to, the sessions I attended or what, but it just wasn't the "earth shattering" experience I have had in the past. Maybe it was the sessions I attended, but more than likely the novelty of EBC, combined with the people that were there that first year made such a big impression it is just hard to top. Not that I'm giving up on EBC or that it isn't a great experience, but this year EBC and ISTE just left me a bit, well depressed. Then again EBC was and is like any conference, it is what you make of it and if I don't like something, I need to be the catalyst for change. Now I just need to think about what I would do differently.......

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ISTE & Edubloggercon 2010

I am woefully behind in my blog posting about ISTE & Edubloggercon from last month.  I had no idea how fast August would get here! My overall impressions of ISTE & EBC are pretty mixed. Here is my Pro/Con list from this year (or should I call it + / Delta ?)

  • Getting to Meet People
  • Shuttle to convention center from hotel
  • Traveling by yourself - setting your own schedule
  • Enjoyed EBC and the Edubloggers Cafe

  • Having to Meet People
  • Hotel 20 minutes away from anybody, anywhere
  • No rental car
  • Traveling by yourself - lonely
  • Didn't get a lot out of formal sessions
  • Edubloggercon tacked about 2 extra days to the conf experience. Making 6 days total away from home
So what does this mean? Well, I'll be traveling to Educause this October, a higher ed tech conference. It will be interesting to see the differences between the two.  Part of the issue is that I seem to live in this in-between world. I'm not quite K-12, but not quite Higher Ed either.  What I do know is that a conference is all about what you put into it, and maybe I just didn't put enough into ISTE this year.