Is education and educational technology fame really real?
In a society driven by approval, likes, and followers, I’ve noticed in my rookie journey, into the world of EdTech a bit of this mainstream norm creeping in. The desire of educators needing the approval of their peers or their desire to be the “cool kid” driving what they say and do publicly on social media and educational platforms.
Okay sorry, on a little random side note, the recent and sudden death of Prince really hit me hard. I grew up with his music and was a fan. He’s a musical icon and genius, but also from what I’m continuing to learn he was a very humble man which has resonated with me. Humility. A word for many is like fingernails on a chalkboard or a punch in the gut especially in today’s society mostly driven by self-absorption. Humility, the ability to say hey you know what, my wants will take a back seat to others. My spotlight is not so exclusive that you can’t join me, take up most of the space, and I will be okay with that. On my island where I am the queen or king, I realize the need to swim to places unlike my island and learn from others. Humility is such a really, difficult skill, but it needs in the forefront of our thoughts and actions as educators. It requires that ever so delicate taming of our own ego to even make humility possible and believe me, ego and pride are two things so very difficult for any person to whip into a cage.
More often than I can count, I am noticing on social media within the educational and EdTech community humility being replaced by boasting and work being replaced by buzzwords. Why? I believe it’s because humility and work are both very hard. Most people like, whether they will openly admit it or not, to take the path of least resistance or the easy route. Humility and work both require sincere maximum effort day in and day out with little to absolutely no fanfare, which for many people is not worth it. Many would prefer to rather shine than grind, rather glisten than listen, to have flare than care. Educators need to remember that education is not about the limelight, followers, pats on the back, or a title. It about what we do every day in our buildings, the moments, the sweat and sometimes tears we shed to affect each and every one of our students’ lives and ultimately shape our communities. I always remind myself to check my ego at the keyboard and remember it is the work done inside my brick and mortar walls that matters more than sharing my thoughts on growth mindset and grit. What action am I taking daily to have a positive impact on students and teachers? Do I have anything besides catchy phrases or new Twitter followers to show for my labor?
There is a Bible verse that states “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” We need more good trees in the education forest who are less talk more action, bearing the fruit of students properly equipped to enter the world and become successful. In my mind, education and educational technology fame isn’t real, but the fruit produced is. My question to you: are you a good tree in the education forest? If you are, then show me your good fruit.