I opened my laptop for the first time in 3 days, took care of a half dozen emails that were waiting for me, and hopped onto Twitter to see what was happening. Then it hit me: in terms of educators on social media I was totally out of the loop; I had lost my edge; I was (am), sigh, irrelevant.
So, what the heck happened? Well, a year ago I had just finished a wonderful 3 days in Philly for Educon and I was getting ready for the TCEA conference. I was trying to figure out how to get into the SXSWEdu conference and was sad that I probably wouldn’t be able to afford the ISTE conference in San Diego. But “hey,’ I thought, “at least I have a couple thousand folks on twitter to interact with and stay on top of the latest and greatest things in education.”
Fast forward a year. Not only did I not go to Philly this year, I didn’t even have time to watch the twitter stream for Educon last week. Then, this week, I found out that I’m needed at my school every day next week and so I won’t attend any of TCEA for the first time in a couple of years. That one really hurts because I love the interaction in the social media lounge and I’ve given short talks (or brought students to talk) on PBL for teachers coming into that area.
I should be going to SXSWEdu because I’ve signed up as a volunteer. That gets me a badge but I’m really not sure how much time I can get off for that. And ISTE is right down the road in San Antonio. I have a room but I haven’t paid my conference fee yet because I’m just not sure whether I’ll get the time to take that in.
So what happened? Simple. I changed jobs and am now much more tied to my work than ever before in my teaching career. It was a piece of cake being a teacher (in comparison) and it really wasn’t that hard to get time off to go places. Little things were so simple to take care of. Hopping on Twitter each night and for hours on the weekend? Nothing to it. Life was pretty darn cushy.
What to do about this problem? I can start by helping out school kick butt on the standardized tests that are rapidly approaching. I can help my teachers so that they can still enjoy their free time. I can learn to more effectively schedule my day so that I get home earlier and have more time to participate with others on Twitter. And, I can put conferences that are important to me and my professional development on the calendar for my principal to see.
This year is starting out really sucky. There I said it. That doesn’t mean the rest of the year has to be as equally bad. It’s time to get things in gear. I need to put ISTE on the calendar and make it a priority. I need to put PBL World on the calendar too. And IPADPALOOZA, and, ……