“Out of the Egg Crate” Guest Post: Jennifer Lalley

Last spring, I “offered my blog” to any and all Junior High faculty who might want to guest post. I thought it might be one small step on the journey of trying something new and thinking out loud with a public reflection – for some, like trying on clothes before deciding what to buy. Then, I waited. And waited.

Wait time is an invaluable tool in the educator’s tool kit, eh? (pronounced “A” and in honor of @gcouros). Since I extended the invitation, 112 days have gone by.

But learning is the constant – we should guarantee that people will learn…at high levels. Time and support should be the variables.

Thanks to the support offered at Faculty Forum, and perhaps some other support I am unaware of, a Junior High faculty member has submitted a guest post. Many thanks to Jennifer Lalley for taking this opportunity.

It’s the beginning of a new year, and we are all frantically trying to keep track of the influx of information coming our way. However, something about this year feels different for me (Jen Lalley). At the moment, I feel more energized than overwhelmed. Yesterday in the faculty meeting, I felt thankful for the time and space to speak openly and honestly about the changes here at Westminster. Although it’s hard, it’s valuable to have differing opinions on how technology is affecting our students and our classrooms. I left our meeting wanting more discussion. Can we continue it here?

Some of the themes thrown out…

– How do we find balance with screen time/non-screen time?
– How do we communicate to parents what we are doing in school?
– What is valuable about “traditional” teaching, and what needs revision?
– How is technology transforming pedagogy?

As said in the meeting, I echo how all of this boils down to “learning and sharing.” To me, that’s the reason we blog, MOODLE, tweet, journal, etc. Honestly, there are times when I’m working with other teachers when my individual spot in the “egg crate culture” seems nice and cozy and warm. It’s safe there, and I can move at my own pace.

There’s a problem with that statement, ”at my own pace.” It’s not really about me. It’s about the students. The moments I venture out of the egg crate have made me sharper, and most importantly, have engaged my students on a deeper level.

2 thoughts on ““Out of the Egg Crate” Guest Post: Jennifer Lalley

  1. I love the idea of getting out of egg crate, Jen. Thank you for giving me that image. One thing I’ve found at WMS is that even if I do get a little cracked and bruised getting out of my crate, my colleagues have tended to rally around in support. It was not hard for @gcouros to get us all cheering for rock paper scissors… I got more hugs on the first day of faculty forum than I’ve ever had in one day except maybe my wedding day… when people asked me “how are you?”, they stood still and waited for my answer (vs. being half way down the hall to get their next item checked off the To Do List). My experience is that I work in a place of support and encouragement. That makes it feel safe for me to step (sometimes gingerly) out of the egg crate. Faculty Forum reminded me of just how much our students watch us (one even watched and responded ot some of the tweets coming out of Forum). I celebrate the idea that our students can watch us learning… trying new things… getting out of the egg crate… maybe even getting a small crack here and there.. but see us keep trying. And, maybe greatest of all: see us hold one another up! Thanks for reminder to keep the focus on the students and to challenge myself to step out this year. p.s. would you remind me of your blog address? After my training this summer, I’m a Web Ninja and now know how to bookmark and use my RSS feeds so that I can actually keep up better with my cyber library.

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