Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

No, this is not an environmentally friendly post (although I fully support recycling, and fellow blogger Lit Lady is the Reigning Regal Recycler at our school). Today, I’m talking about what good teachers do.

LL and I have been reading lots of other teacher blogs. We’ve recently decided to start following great educators on Twitter. (Follow me on Twitter: @ACommaQueen)

As I read what all these other wonderful educators say on the blogosphere and on Twitter, I wonder about my own cyber future. The reason LL and I started this blog was to share our ideas, triumphs, and failures with other educators. We both feel it is critically important for us a profession to band together and share with one another in order to do our best as we prepare today’s children for tomorrow.

But after reading what everyone else has to say, I ask myself: Do I have anything new to say? Do I have a voice?

After I consider deleting all my profiles and accounts, I realize that we do what the best teachers do. We reduce, reuse, and recycle.

We reduce. Good teachers reduce the amount of fluff and stuff in their curriculum. They do what’s important. We do what’s in the best interest of our students. If it’s not going to help them be successful or help them to love learning, we cut it out. LL and I plan on sharing what we cut out to make our classrooms better learning environments. We hope you’ll share that with us, too.

We also try to reduce the amount of negativity around us. Teaching is hard job, and sometimes, a girl’s gotta vent. (Guys do too!) However, we should try to eliminate as much negativity as possible and realize that we are working in a very important and noble field. We must consider ourselves blessed to do so.

We reuse. Good heavens, I do a TON of this. I usually say that I steal ideas, but I don’t think stealing is the right word (or a nice one, for that matter). I love to read what other teachers are doing in their classrooms, and if it seems like something that I might be able to use in my classroom, just watch – I’ll try it within a few days. I LOVE idea-sharing! It’s the best!

We recycle. Every year when there is a new teacher, I hear a veteran saying, “There’s no need to invent the wheel.” The new teacher is then given stacks of stuff. This even happens between one veteran and another. A good teacher, however, knows how to take the stuff, aka “the wheel,” and recycle it a little to make it work for that teacher and her group of students. We take the old wheel and make it into a new one. We don’t need to start from scratch, but we take old ideas and make them fresh. We make them work for us.

As I ponder this teaching triad and how we, as educators, reduce, reuse, and recycle, I realize that I do have a voice. While most of my ideas are often inspired by other greats, they have value and merit in their own right as I blog (or tweet) about what these ideas mean to me. Take from it what you will, and feel free to reduce, reuse, and recycle any of it.

PS: Want to know whom I’m following on Twitter?

I will update you when I follow more!

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