You know what? I truly enjoy collaborating and discussing teaching with other colleagues. I remember at one inservice I had gone to in the past, that one presenter said "you never take off your teacher cap and you will find that the only ones who understand are fellow teachers, therefore, each time you see one, you can not help but talk 'shop' with them". I find myself always talking shop with my teacher friends. It is not like I am an uninteresting (at least I hope) person and have nothing else to talk about, but every time I get together with my teacher friends, all we talk about is school. This includes anything from situations, issues, questions, discussions about philosophy, etc. I know to the rest of the world it may seem like we are very boring, but I enjoy it!
I learn from others. I feel that if we are given the proper opportunities to discuss in small groups about these things, that we grow as teachers as much as we do as people. It does not have to be a school situation I guess. Discussion with people in general is very important. We are a species who learn from each other and can adapt and move forward when we build on our experiences and the experiences of others. Now this is not to say that other media such as technology does not enhance our growth experiences. I watch the news, I read current events, I keep in touch somewhat with the celebrity world, I read many many books on all sorts of subjects (music, bands/artists, history, literature, world issues, classics, travel, fiction, etc.), and I would like to think of myself as a pretty well-rounded individual. I do know, though, that not much beats the face-to-face interactions. Media distorts things like true emotion and feeling. Tone of voice does not always ring true when an actor is saying a line that should make you feel something totally different than what you got out of it, a book can be interpreted in many ways, just as text message can be very deceiving if not taken the right way. Sarcasm for example. Take this blog post; if I tried to get across that I am being sarcastic, there are only a few ways to try - maybe I try using a dash, italicizing, bolding, quoting, etc. But who really knows if it is read the way I wanted you to read it! This is when good, old, tried-tested-and-true face-to-face interaction will never be beaten. Distance Ed. courses or Correspondence courses in things such as Creative Writing - how does a student feel the emotion of the character when I tell you to read this story and ask for a response and hand it in. Did they pick up the emotion I would have used in my voice if that student was sitting in my classroom during my lesson? Seeing my face? Hearing my voice changing to convey the message?
This is why I enjoy talking to my fellow teachers. Without my available time to do so face-to-face as I keep saying, I blog. I blog and hope that someone out there is reading this post and it makes them think, reflect, consider, be inspired or maybe they hate it! I do not know, but what I do know is if no one comments, how do I know? Let me post this question I have asked before:
"If I post a blog post and no one reads it, does it really exist?"