Communication could be one of the most important skills a teacher utilizes. Communication welcomes and encourages outsiders to peek inside that magical world of a classroom. I don’t think I truly understood how utterly important this was until I became a parent of a kindergarten student.
Although I had ‘gone to school’ for 30 years and was a kindergarten teacher myself once, I still wanted to be a part of my child’s day and know what he was doing. We were lucky to have a kindergarten teacher that also believed in the power of communication (insert Seesaw). Seeing what my little one was doing and hearing his young voice explaining a math problem or reading a book was more compelling than reading a newsletter emailed on Friday afternoon.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for teachers to tell the story of their classroom. Technology allows us to share all types of evidence of learning and excitement with parents beyond a classroom newsletter. Seesaw allows teachers and students to share all types of media and learning artifacts instantly with parents. Not into Seesaw? Social media is popular with parents too! Read about how to create a classroom Instagram account that captures your classroom throughout the day. Let your students caption it. Thinking outside the box? Listen about ways to record a short podcast, either solo or with your students, to share weekly classroom highlights.
As a teacher, communication doesn’t stop there. Connecting with other educators was a career changing event for me. When I first started using Twitter, I was shocked at all of the other educators that were thinking and discussing the same things that were swirling around in my mind. Once I joined Twitter chats, I couldn’t stop. There were so many ideas that I discovered while communicating with others that I had never met but found inspiring. Not only was I collecting new ideas, but sharing things I was doing. And even though I didn’t find my everyday classroom all that unique, people found my ideas inspiring as well. And all of a sudden, I didn’t feel alone and isolated. I felt connected and validated.
Technology has truly changed the way we communicate with one another. And although there’s nothing that trumps a face-to-face chat, our conversations can expand around the world with the tap of a button.
We would like to challenge you to take this month to try something new. Perhaps connect with someone outside your inner circle or share something a little differently with the parents of your students. We would love to hear about it!
Digital Learning Consultant