The 21st Century has arrived! With it has come a change in how we are motivated as educators. One of the most interesting books I have ever read on motivation is Drive by Daniel Pink. In it he discusses the extrinsic and intrinsic motivations that we have in our lives and how those motivations influence our decisions. Society is changing and whether we know it or not there is a strong motivation to be connected digitally.
Motivation applying to teachers falls into a category all of it's own. As a young high school student (never thinking of being in the role of a teacher) I had the perspective that teachers taught because they only had to work 9 months out of the year and the rest of the time was "vacation." I also thought that teachers taught because they wanted to have power over other people (students). As I graduated from college and began to teach I discovered a whole new motivation to why teachers teach. I teach to make a difference! I teach to connect with students! I teach because I see potential in people. Being an educator is one of the only jobs where your success is based on the performance and execution of others. It was always hard to explain to non-teachers why I am willing to take a pay cut. I will never financially make what some will, but I know that I make a difference in the world... ...for the better.
Check this video out!
Taylor Mali: What Do Teachers Make?
So where does being connected fit into the whole idea of why we teach.
Educators are life-long learners and experts at professional development. We do not settle for good-enough. We are always striving for something better. We can't do this alone and the expectations on teachers continue to grow on a daily basis. Not only do we have to teach, we have to prove to everybody outside of the classroom that our teaching is effective. The add-ons seem endless. But there are ways to go about doing our job better. New ideas and broader perspectives are only a click away. By sharing our ways how to teach with others we are opening doors that lead to endless potential for our students. We strive to thrive!
While I often teach in a room filled with 50-70 students, I often feel alone. We need to have a professional learning network and a support system to reassure us that the risks and chances we take are well worth it.
There are new and better ways of educating our students out there and before we were connected, we didn't even know they existed. Being connected gives us the power to innovate with our students on a level where we can make an impact with more people in the classroom. By connecting with others I am able to discover different perspectives on particular topics. This brings me to look through a new lens and drives me to innovate and share my discoveries.
Being connected is fun. Through being connected in our social lives we are creating endless relationships. We don't have to go to the coffee shop to find out the latest and greatest, we just jump on connected digital technology and are able to discover the latest and greatest. Being connected digitally bridges the gap between social and professional. I continue to observe educators building relationships socially and turning those interactions into new learning opportunities.
There are reasons why we continue the digital trend of being connected. The time and energy that it takes must be worth it as so many people are "drinking the water."
The Question (Please respond in comment area)
What motivates you to be connected?