Bloggers celebrate teachers too
Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto has taught English as a Second or Foreign Language for more than 20 years. She currently lives in Kitakyushu, Japan, where she blogs at www.teachingvillage.org. She writes: “I want to learn about anything that will make me a better teacher. These days, that includes learning how to use Web 2.0 tools and virtual worlds in the classroom and for professional development, learning about new teaching methodologies and techniques, trying to keep up with research about how children learn. Luckily, I have found generous online friends who help me learn.” Here are some of her thoughts on World Teachers’ Day 2009: There are teachers, and there are teachers. I respect anyone who steps into a classroom, but I adore educators for whom teaching is as much a vocation as a job. Why? Because when teachers go on vacation, they look at ways to exploit their adventures for students. Whether collecting foreign magazines for language class, or foreign coins for math class, or postcards for geography class, teachers always look for inexpensive ways to make learning more interesting and relevant…. Because teachers turn everything freakin’ thing they touch into an educational opportunity. Teachers looked at World of Warcraft and thought, this just might motivate reluctant learners. They visited Second Life and said, “Cool place to teach! Look at the potential here!” They looked at Skype and saw a way to connect their students with the world. They looked at Twitter and said, “Great way to share resources!” Because teachers fight passionately for education ideals – to include technology, to exclude technology, to abolish standardized tests, to improve standardized tests, to open classrooms to the world, to protect children from the world. But, at the end of the day, teachers work to help students succeed within whatever reality they face. Because teachers are reading this and wondering why I’m making a fuss about the things they do every day… Because they can’t imagine doing anything but teach. Happy World Teachers’ Day! Thank you for inspiring the world’s children. ***** Raul Pacheco Vega is a Canadian teacher and researcher in environmental studies, and a consultant on social media. On World Teachers’ Day, he posted these thoughts on his blog at www.hummingbird604.com: My parents (both of them) have been teachers (well, professors more like it) for longer than I’ve been on this planet. All my brothers and myself have taught. Two of my brothers, my Mom and I all have PhDs which means that we are qualified to teach at the university level. And my late Auntie L was an elementary school teacher…. Teaching is not only in my genes, but it is in my blood, it is in my soul and it’s something I adore doing. I have taught at all levels (high school, undergraduate, Masters and PhD), I have taught in different languages (mostly Spanish and English) and I have taught in different countries. I have taught a broad variety of subjects… The most important thing is, I teach because I am passionate about it. I love shaping my students’ thinking processes. I love sharing what I have learned. I love helping people grow and learn… To my Mom (who is still a professor at her university), my brothers (who are both assistant professors in US universities), to my former PhD supervisor and my instructors, professors, and teachers, my friends who teach in each one of their respective countries, and everyone else who is a teacher … my congratulations. We are all contributing in one way or another to the growth of our societies.