Saturday, February 27, 2010

Burned Out...but making a comeback

So, I follow some amazing people on Twitter. The reason I follow most of the people who I do is because they constantly (and I mean like every 2 minutes) post great ideas and resources. The thing that bothers me about this is that I gain so much from these people, but I give almost nothing in return. Every once in a while I post something I find or use, but not nearly enough. There are definitely excuses that can be made for this...since Twitter is blocked in my county I have to post from a mobile device (which is great but not the easiest way to post links, etc) if I want to tweet during the day, by the time I get home I have so many other things to take care of with a new house and 2 dogs that I don't have time to tweet, working a part-time job plus a full-time means that I really don't have time, etc...

I can use all of those excuses (and more), but what it boils down to is this- they are excuses. The real truth is that if I had known or thought about using Twitter a few years ago when I was in the classroom, I would have been one of those people that constantly added thoughts, ideas, and resources of value. The truth is that instead of becoming burned out in the classroom, as so many people talk about, I have become burned out by being OUT of the classroom. I loved being a teacher- I loved planning and I loved teaching. I was that teacher (as many are) who put my heart and soul into everything I did in the classroom and spent every spare minute looking for and creating new things to do with my students. I wanted to do everything and anything that was engaging and fun- which often meant incorporating technology, whether it was Skyping with classrooms near and far, creating collaborative podcasts and movies, blogging everyday with my students, and whatever else I could come up with. I stayed up way later than I ever should have not occasionally, but often creating ActivBoard lessons and surfing the Web for fresh ideas. I was the teacher that those in my school came to with questions or when ideas were needed.  I devoted my nights and weekends to pushing myself to becoming better. And that is exactly why I jumped at the opportunity to become an Instructional Technology Facilitator...I thought well great! I can spend my days doing the things I love (finding and creating tech integrated resources and projects) and skip all the stuff I didn't love so much (dealing with some parents, high stakes testing, etc)!

The truth of the matter is- that's not so much how it's gone. Part of that is because I took the job at a time when the job title was going through a transformation from NC Wise facilitator to Instructional Technology Facilitator, part of it is because I had to spend that first year trying to figure out exactly what I wanted the focus of my job to be and what my boundaries were, and part because I went from being a proven pretty good teacher to being the newest and youngest in my new job and I was too afraid to speak up when I had ideas. Put all that together, and I just got burned out and lazy. Instead of working as hard as I could at work and coming home and continuing to work as hard as I could until bed time, I started just working as hard as I could at work and then not opening my laptop for anything work or school related once I got home.

All of that rambling stuff being said, the whole point of this post is to say that I want to be a contributor, not just one of those people who lurks and gleans information from everyone else and never gives in return. So, with the start of this blog and the start of my new mindset, it is my goal to act on that wish- we'll see how it goes!


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