Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scouting for Others

suitcaseIn Our Journeys from Reinventing Project-Based Learning, Jane Krauss asks,

“Think about a topic of your current professional learning.
What kind of traveler are you?
Armchair tourist: Curious from afar, need to know more
Tenderfoot: Setting out on that first journey, ready to try new things
Explorer: Used to stepping out, ready for new frontiers
Scout: A seasoned traveler who can show others the way”

I’m a Scout!

I loved this travel metaphor and I realized that it described my career as a teacher. I have been each of these kinds of travelers throughout my career. I also think it is important to see where we are in our career and where we can go from there. I guess I’m always looking ahead. I don’t feel that my career will ever end because being a teacher is what I am. Even though I retired, I’m not ready to give up my interest in education. I feel that I have invested a lot of time and energy into getting to where I am now and if I turn my back on it all, I would have wasted that time and energy.

So, I continue to blog and use Plurk and Twitter to stay connected. I speak to groups and organizations about education topics. I also am an adjunct instructor at the local university. I tell many of my friends that I no longer see education as a way for get a paycheck but as a hobby that I can enjoy. It is amazing how freeing this attitude makes me feel!

My husband and I love to travel and have been to many places around our country and some places out of our country. When we talk to others, they like to ask for advice on places to see and things to do. They also want to know what pitfalls to avoid.

In this same way, I feel I can do the same thing for less experienced teachers. I like to show them my favorite strategies and lessons. By sharing with them some of my teaching mishaps, I’m showing them the pitfalls to avoid in teaching. I am able to look at all the enjoyable aspects of my teaching career that I can share with others.

Sometimes for a novice traveler, the way can be scary. Sometimes experienced travelers forget how unsure and uncertain the way can be. We forget the little things. Not just the bad little things but the good little things too. When I meet up with a novice traveler, I get to remember and relive the good little things that happened and it makes me feel good. It keeps me from taking for granted the way things are now. In this same way, novice teachers are as important as experienced teachers and we all need to remember that.

So now I ask you, what kind of traveler are you? Please share.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'suitcase' by: Sarah Macmillan


Sioux Roslawski said...

I'm a scout, too (as far as being a teacher), but I am always willing to "travel" with others and I'll be the explorer and have them serve as scout.

Comparing teaching to traveling was a great idea!

loonyhiker said...

@Sioux I thought it was pretty cool. I'd be glad to have you travel with me! I bet together we would have lots of fun!

Molly said...

Another thoughtful post Looneyhiker, you are so accomplished at being a teacher that I did not realize that you are retired. I am retired as of last June from teaching middle school science. This year I have volunteered at an elementary school helping with reading and spelling. Sometime in the near future, I would like to visit elementary schools to present science demonstrations with my husband, who is retiring from his chemistry/physics teaching position.

loonyhiker said...

@Molly That sounds like a wonderful plan! I love being with my hubby and we are having a great time in our retirement! Thanks for your kind words!