Live from TETC2021 with a Challenge!

Okay, so maybe I’m not really going to go live on video, but I’m is at the Tennessee Educational Technology Conference right now and I thought I would make a post since it has been a while since I’ve posted. It hasn’t been for a lack of having things to say, it’s been from a place where it was just too overwhelming along with everything else going on.

Why did I tell you that? What does it have to do with this post? That is actually a simple answer. If you have ever gone to a conference, then you know it can be overwhelming. That feeling of being overwhelmed is increased exponentially if you happen to go to a conference for the first time by yourself. At this conference, I am by myself and it is geared more towards P-12 education. So, why am I here? Because this helps me be better prepared to help my students become great teachers.

One of the hazards of going to conferences is being overwhelmed with information. At this conference, that happens when you walk in the door. However, one of the best things happening is that everyone at this conference shares all of their resources with everyone. In fact, having that ability allows for people to pay more attention while the speaker is presenting and have the ability to go back and review. Tons of information is being shared. Tons of vendors are here. Tons of learning is taking place.

What is the reality of that? The reality is that there are tons of teachers here, learning how to be better teachers using technology. In a time period where education and educators are under fire and people are leaving the field faster than we can replace them, there are a ton of teachers here just to learn how to be better for their students. It’s inspiring on a whole other level. It’s collaboration and community at their finest.

There are going to be a ton of takeaways from this conference. I present tomorrow morning and I can’t wait. Perhaps the largest takeaway from this conference is hope. The knowledge and skills learned are great, the networking is great, but the hope that exists in education that drives teachers to continue to work to be better for students is phenomenal and inspiring.

Why is it that all we hear about education is negative? Everyone is overwhelmed, and that is definitely still present, but why aren’t we hearing about things like these educators that are out learning and collaborating to get better? Why aren’t we hearing more about the positives of being an educator? I guess I have hit the point that I am tired of the negativity, and we know that negativity just encourages more negativity. With that in mind, I have decided to start a #PositivityMatters Challenge and here is the info:

We know there is a teacher shortage and that the teacher shortage is contributing to the overwhelming feelings of stress and burnout that teachers are feeling. We also know that teachers are leaving the field in droves. How do we attract more teachers to the profession when all that anyone is able to see is the negatives of what we do? I am not a Pollyanna that never sees the negative, but think about the actual power of positivity. If we want to have more support and more people that want to be teaching, we are going to have to reach out with some of the positivity. We are going to have to change the things that people are seeing from always negative to a more balanced look.

Where am I going with this? Here is a challenge for you. It’s a positivity challenge. For the next month, try to post something positive about your career each day. Let’s change the narrative on being a teacher. This is not something that is limited to education, so if you want to try the positivity challenge outside of education, go for it!

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Perfect Chaos Positivity Challenge

Post your positivity on your social media with the hashtag #PositivityMatters and tag me (Twitter: @DrRBlevins, Insta: @Rondamb) or The Perfect Chaos podcast (Twitter: @PerfectChaos7, Insta: @PerfectChaos7). Let’s get some positivity going around our careers and show people what is possible.

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