To boldly go where no man has gone before

Spock & Kirk

One of the #EdBlogNZ challenges for week 1 is to write a blog post about your favourite movie/song/piece of art including how it relates to your life as an educator. So I’m going to write about my favourite TV series / movies – Star Trek.

I’m a doctor, not a…


Wow – this quote, said regularly by Dr McCoy really resonates with me. Let’s rephrase it…

I’m a teacher, not a… doctor, nurse, parent (well I might be, but I’ve not actually taught my own children), social worker, … you name it, we’ve probably had to do it as a teacher!

It’s dead, Jim

We’ve all had to let go of something at some point. That amazing lesson I planned that just didn’t work. That great idea that no one else got or agreed with.

And being a Science/Biology teacher… there can be a few other dead things in my class…

Make it so

Get out there and go for it! Ever had an idea, or come across someone who has done something that sounds amazing? Just get out there and go for it! Make it so! I probably haven’t done this enough as a teacher. It’s about stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something that may work perfectly or might flop.

Of course, we’ve always been told to have that back-up plan in case we need it!

Engage

This seems like an obvious connection to teaching. Engage! Student engagement. But actually, for me this is also about teacher engagement. Not only do we need to encourage student engagement and student ownership of their learning, but we need to own our teaching! We need to be engaged in what we’re doing. If it’s not engaging to us, I can just about guarantee that it’s not engaging to our students. If we’re not engaged in what we’re teaching, then why would our students be engaged in it?

This is an area that was quite clear in my MEd research as well!

Tea, Earl Grey, Hot (Captain Picard) … Coffee, black (Captain Janeway)

 

We’ve all got our drink of choice after a long day, or just to get through the day! Mine was Coke (of course I’m currently celebrating 9 months without it so far this year!) Many teachers always have a coffee or cup of tea to drink. Others stick to water.

Live long and prosperLeonard Nimoy Spock Dies - President Obama Statement

Finally, probably the most well known Star Trek quote, and a tribute to the great Leonard Nimoy. Live long and prosper.

As a teacher we need to look after ourselves. Don’t burn ourselves out. Take time out and relax without thinking of your students (if that’s ever possible). It’s so easy to focus on the job always, but it’s not necessarily a wise thing to do.

Yes, enjoy your job. Be passionate! Have fun with your students.

But… enjoy yourself. Spend quality time with your family. Have some “me” time.

Should the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

TNG combadge
In education, especially when you’re involved with technologies and e-learning there seems to be a constant barrier in place trying to hold things back. I often hear about the lack of connectivity of many of our students or their families. Or I hear about the issue of money or affordability. These are all valid concerns, but for how long should we hold back before we decide to do something that would benefit a great number of students.

So often in education we look at the few that can’t do something and that holds us back. Yes, I understand we want equity across all, but surely we also want to offer a better quality education. How long should we stay where we are just so we’re not leaving anyone behind? What about looking for ways to help those who cannot access or cannot afford the technology?

To quote Star Trek… Should “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”?

Personally, I think they should.

At some point, we need to say, we’re going to move forward because we don’t want to leave everyone behind. The world is changing at a very rapid pace. If we don’t jump on-board, what we offer is going to become meaningless or perhaps obsolete.

We live in a world where people are collaborating, creating, sharing, presenting, innovating, interacting and socialising more than ever. These skills were already necessary, but are seemingly even more necessary. These skills need to be taught, not just in face-to-face situations but also virtually. The skills are at least a little different in both situations but our students need to be able to manage in both situations.

At my workplace, I meet with staff in meeting rooms face-to-face, and at the same time I might be meeting with staff in several other offices either through Video Conferencing, Adobe Connect or similar. I imagine this is going to get more and more common as time goes on.

I’m not saying we leave those who can’t access or afford things behind, but let’s also not disadvantage the future lives of those who can. Let’s educate our students to be successful citizens of the time they live in and try to prepare them to be successful citizens in their future.