The twitterverse, nings, wikis, blogs, and more are full of great ideas being shared by teachers to promote ideas and innovation in learning and teaching. It’s great to see the information networking take place, and the discussions happening formally and informally, such as the Oz/NZ educators.
But I would like to urge teachers and teacher librarians to do more than join social networks, chat in flashmeetings, or blog their collaborative ventures.
Please consider contributing to your professional association in some way. Join a committee, become an executive member – do something! Our professional associations are the ones that lobby on behalf of our subjects and profession, respond to government papers and initiatives, profide first class professional learning opportunities - in fact, do so many things that represent the best interests of teachers and students.
It is not enough to ‘get into’ social networking. It is more important to be a contributor via active professional bodies in your state or country. I have always helped if I can, locally, nationally and internationally via a number of associations. Last week, I added another small contribution to my weaponry (because that’s what it is – weapons to forge a better future) by volunteering to become an ISTE Docent. What a treat it is to be in charge of helping others at ISTE HQ, even if only for one short hour each week.
It constantly surprises me that people hesitate to take this step to volunteer with their preferred professional association. I hear all sorts of excuses. Yet the real gains we have made in education have often been driven by those who work tirelessly via their associations.
Next time you see nominations, or are asked to contribute in some way – please – give it a go. This is your chance to put other interests ahead of your own and make sure that we are ‘going somewhere’ in education.