Today, on World Teacher Day, I’m reflecting on what it means to be a life-long educator. I’m sure that many others out there, like me, didn’t set out to be a teacher, but certainly became more aware of teaching as a career choice as I engaged with great teachers. Stephen Downes, in his introductory video to the Open Ed MOOC, mentions that education is sharing. That, at a granular level is what it’s all about for me.
EDUCATION IS SHARING – writ large.
Teachers around the globe share! Every day teachers share what they have, what they know, what they are passionate about and what they fear. Teachers share ideas, images, text, activities, words of wisdom, cultural norms and so much more. Educators across the globe share what little they may have available to them with their students in an effort to bring the world to a better place. Some teachers may not be sharing with such lofty visions of world peace, but they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing without a passion for sharing. So today, I give thanks to all those teachers who have touched my life by sharing their gifts and talents with others. I remember and honour all those teachers who are no longer able to share and those who have left a lasting legacy in their schools, faculties and communities. I am humbled by the hard work of sharing done by teachers the world over, especially through troubling times and catastrophic events.
Open education matters to every teacher! Opening our hearts to accept every child or student into the classroom, be it physical or digital. Opening student’s minds to wonder and inquiry. Opening our hands to sharing with those who may need our help in our schools, communities and global contexts. Opening our emotions so our students can see the power of empathy and trust. It’s more than open educational resources (OER) since this is one part of the teaching/learning dynamic – the what of teaching. It’s more than open pedagogy or open educational practices since this is as individual as the teacher doing the teaching – the how of teaching. Open education is about being fully open to opportunities that arise in the classroom, in the context and in the learning moments. It’s about bringing your whole self into engagement with your students, the subject matter, the moments that matter.
Today, on World Teacher Day, celebrate and share your educational experiences, not just those that haunt you, but those when someone shared openly and freely, giving of themselves to make your world, your life a better place.
Today, be OPEN to OPPORTUNITIES to continue your learning journey and share it with a teacher. Education is sharing – not for sale and no strings attached.