Sunday, March 6, 2011
Take the Red Pill
Four months ago, I took Morpheus’s Red Pill and it has changed my life. In the Matrix, Neo takes the red pill and has an “awakening” to the perceived real world. For me this awakening was to a world beyond my classroom. To start, I grew up in a town of 1100 people and change, with a high school graduating class of 24. I then went to a smaller 4 year college with a graduating class of a few more than 500 students. So, I have led what most would consider a rather sheltered life. Right out of college I was married and hired to teach in the same school I student taught in. My professional life was set and I began what most would consider a “good” teaching career.
That is where the red pill came in. I made the decision to start blogging and become active on twitter about four months ago. This “awakened” me to a world beyond my school, my classroom and my community. I have seen how schools are working and classrooms are running all over the world. Conversations I have are opening my eyes to methods and pedagogy that were never on my radar. I am thinking about things in ways I would never has imagined were possible.
Resources I never thought existed are now my norm and benefit my students daily. My PLN on twitter are sharing more resources than I can consume in a day, week, or month. Blogs are piling up in my reader and I can’t keep up with all the new “stuff” that is out there waiting for me to try with my students. More than the resources themselves, but the potential they hold in unlocking even more learning for my students.
Beyond just the resources, I am having educational conversations about topics that range from standardized testing and grades to professional development and digital citizenship. I am no longer the naïve teacher with a narrow viewpoint and perspective. There are people that I am talking to that I never even knew existed. Had I not taken the red pill, I would still never know of them or their varied perspective and experiences. The myriad of people I have met and talked to have broaden my educational horizons further than I could ever have anticipated.
Some people may not see this as an awakening, but for me it was. As Morpheus said, “After this, there is no turning back.” This is so true. I have learned what is out there and I can’t go back. I have new perspectives and resources that are ultimately bettering the learning for my students. I cannot conceive going back to putting my head in the sand and focusing just on what is being done in my classroom. I know what is out there and I can’t deny the power and potential learning at my fingertips.
When the opportunity presents itself to you, I encourage you to take the red pill.
Posted by Josh Stumpenhorst