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On discomfort

This article - Dev Discomfort - is written to reflect the pressures and stresses on being a developer - but it reflects very well what it means to be a teacher in an education system increasingly being flooded with technology and tools.

"I feel like my relationship with my tools has gotten flipped—instead of them existing to serve my needs, I feel like I have to improve myself to be able to use them. ... The prerequisites have gotten so large that it feels like I can’t even get good at something before the whole rickety system has been replaced by something new. Not necessarily better in ways that matter to me, mind you. Just new."

As a teacher, with any level of experience, how often is our validity now judged on the basis of our efficiency and effectiveness with digital tools.

As if that's a sign of our ability to be not digitally savvy - but good and effective teachers.

We never did this with pen and paper.

Did we?

Did we hail those who had expert penmanship, or an ability to operate a whiteboard marker, or use the index and contents pages in book most effectively.

And we certainly didn't use those measures as metrics of whether or not said individuals were effective teachers.

Did we?

"I have to remind myself: it’s okay to take time. Rushing doesn’t improve things, it might even slow you down. Focusing on a few things and doing them well is worthwhile. Sharing what you learn—even while you’re still figuring things out—is even better.

Teaching, coaching, mentoring - whatever you wish to call it, is incredibly complex.

Taking complicated ideas and unpacking them in a way that they make sense and map onto existing ideas and concepts in children's brains, in real-time, such that they add incrementally but sustainably to those ideas and allow students to make connections that exist beyond the original idea - that's an insanely wonderful and powerful skill to possess.

And that is what ask teachers to do every. single. day.

Focus on the few things.

Do them well.

That is truly, truly worthwhile.

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