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Benefits and Challenges of Being a Connected Educator

Working in an IB PYP school is both a privilege and a challenge. There is no choice about whether or not an effective IB teacher is a connected educator, we have to be in order to ensure our students become internationally minded citizens. Rockrimmon Elementary’s mission ends with the phrase “empowering responsible, caring citizens involved in our local and global community.” If their teachers are not involved with other educators, schools, communities, administrators, cultures, and perspectives, how can the students see outside their own immediate world? The clear benefit of being a connected educator is that it is the only true path to teaching the IB philosophy with fidelity. We might not be able to constantly touch on the global aspects of everything we do with our students, everyday, but everyday we must be striving to look for those connections, learn about those connections, and spend time researching and sharing those connections with our students, colleagues and communities. The challenge of connecting globally can seem overwhelming and insurmountable some days. Time is precious and the amount of teaching that must be accomplished each day is vast. However, when you find a global project that fits with your Unit of Inquiry just from spending some time in a twitter chat or that perfect website to compliment Exhibition from just a quick glance at an educator’s blog, time has been more than well spent. Watch the excitement and engagement of students when participating in a Mystery Skype with other students or interviewing someone overseas about a project. Their world expands. Your world expands. You are helping to expand the world of those you contact with your classroom environment. The more we share, the more we understand and accept each other. Understanding and acceptance leads our students to truly implement the IB Learner Profile attributes.5th-2

5 Responses to “Benefits and Challenges of being a Connected Educator”

  1. Autumn F Cave-Crosby says:

    “However, when you find a global project that fits with your Unit of Inquiry just from spending some time in a twitter chat or that perfect website to compliment Exhibition from just a quick glance at an educator’s blog, time has been more than well spent. ”

    Just yes! I am so thankful to work in a program that does not tie me down to a 45 minute block of this and an hour block of this at this time. One of the BEST parts of being an educator that keep me charged is finding the “sweet spot” project that breathes life into a question a chid had.

    • Kates, Katherine says:

      Yes! And that is one of the great things about working in the Learning Commons, seeing all the kids come through and working with their different inquiries, even if it has nothing to do with their school work at all.

  2. Malani says:

    One thing I love about working at an IB school is the fact that we take student learning in the direction that they guide us in. It is always interesting as one unit never seems to be the same from one year to another because students’ interests are always different!

  3. Dena says:

    Inspiring! Your words light a fire under me.

    • Kates, Katherine says:

      Thanks! IB PYP schools are pretty amazing, they let teachers and students really develop their creativity and collaboration skills.

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