Information is cheap. Teachers are no longer holders of ALL knowledge. Instead, we help organize the massive quantities of information that are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Our task has clearly shifted from “Let me TELL YOU everything I know!” to “Let me show you how to understand all this information that is available to you RIGHT NOW.” We do this by creating a path through the information that ultimately helps students build their own understanding inside their own brains. The way the information is organized cannot be copyrighted…it cannot be “sold.” And maybe because of this, many teachers are eager to share their ideas and methods.
I think by nature, teachers are a generous bunch. The HAPS email listserv is an excellent example, as are the contributors to the Life Science Teaching Resources Community. I know that I am extremely complimented when someone is interested in using my teaching resources. It somehow adds additional validity to my work, making the investment feel more “worth it.” And I think we all remember what it is like to teach a class for the first time (or to TEACH for the first time!) We start out with nothing…but if someone shares with us, we start out with a glimpse of their experience and perspective, which can be invaluable. This is what is so great about the HAPS Annual Conference. It is an amazing opportunity to SHARE!
I do understand being shy to share…because it is easy to feel like our materials aren’t “perfect” yet. But I know someone else’s imperfect materials are STILL a start for me! (And I’m sure many of you are like me and don’t ever use anything AS IS. We always have to tweak things!)
For most authors,
the greatest risk is not
Sharing makes us all better educators. What a lovely thing!