Reconciling my online teacher and actual teacher selves.
I’m coming clean. Online Bex and School Bex are two different people. In fact, School Bex doesn’t exist, it’s School Rebecca.
Online Bex is confident, not confident enough to throw herself into discussions on Twitter too much, but confident enough to share views and the occasional resource. Online I promote my blog and my podcast, I get involved with things like the Chartered College and CTeach. I lead MFLChat and TM MFL Icons, I take part in webinars. People even DM me to ask me advice and opinions on things (I continue to be surprised every time this happens). Online I am a teacher that feels like she knows what she’s doing. I read, I reflect, I write down these thoughts and even share them. Being this person has got me elected to the council of the Chartered College of Teaching twice, got me invited to speak at ResearchEd Rugby twice, lead to writing work and has given me more opportunities than I can mention.
This may all sound like a brag, but it isn’t. Online Bex and School Rebecca are vastly different people. Other than the couple of colleagues that follow me on Twitter and the handful more I have on Facebook I think most staff would be very surprised to hear the above. In fact, if I’m really honest there are probably quite a few of them that wouldn’t even know who I am anyway (We’re a big school with lots of separate offices). Put it this way, I’m not shouting from the rooftops about great Edubooks and CPD opportunities in school. I’m getting there in terms of my confidence and I get involved where I can with things like the Teaching and Learning Bulletin. I try and share as much as I can within my department/faculty and in conversation with individual colleagues. I just don’t put myself out there in the same way as I have the confidence to do online. I even had interview feedback that my knowledge of an area was spot on, but they were worried about me having the confidence to deliver to staff. Something I’ve done at conferences four or five times, but that people in school wouldn’t be aware of.
All this is to say two things I guess. The first being that you shouldn’t judge what a teacher is like in their classroom/school from what you see online and especially don’t compare yourself to them. They may be two very different people. The other is that this year I aim to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more, put myself out there and get involved. If I want my future role to be something like a lead practitioner or anything whole school teaching and learning related I need to prove I can.