This Blog’s Purpose

“Not all who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

One of my favorite quotes, this embodies some of my philosophy as an educator.  I find myself continually searching for new ways (new, at least to me) to improve the experiences of our students.  I changed the word “wander” to “wonder” for this blog because there are all kinds of things I am continually wondering about.  Things such as classroom management, content topics, effective teaching techniques, the teenage psyche, and how to get students to bring back my ransomed hall pass!

I have been pondering how to share my ideas and experiences on education with my friends/colleagues and how to get their ideas and experiences in return.  Even though we are scattered all over the map, there is no reason in this age of technology why we can’t continue where we left off or go to places we haven’t yet been.  I often learn a great deal through writing and discourse.  This is the vehicle I’ve come up with to do just that and to broaden my horizons.

I invite you to comment on any of the ideas in this blog.  If you agree/disagree with me or other contributors, have questions to ask, or your own ideas/opinions to share, please add them.  I value your thoughts.  All I ask is that you do it “respectfully” (isn’t that a word some of us have discussed with our students a lot?).  Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

tolkien

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5 thoughts on “This Blog’s Purpose”

  1. Oh, yes! As I wander and wonder through this existance called teacher! I wonder still after 9 years (!!!???) if my students are truly prepared for life after high school from my classes, if they are safe and happy, if I’ll ever figure out this whole classroom management thing–or even how to put my giant tables in a configuration that is the least bit welcoming and comfortable without being a cluttered mess–and time mangagement for them and me (how do you keep up with lesson plans, being a club sponsor, grading essays eternally, and keep any kind of life for my children, grad school, my partner, and woah! even myself! I’m constantly bouncing between self reflective and self deprecating about this whole teaching thing!
    Well, bell rang….back to the winding path!

  2. Love the blog purpose. And the picture is fantastic–makes me want to be on the site.

    It’s great to have people coming together in a place where there isn’t fear to admit that you “wonder” and grab hold of the courage to ask questions about what we do/how we could do it better.

  3. I’ve had a request to further expand upon my word choice of wonder vs. wander. To wander means to “move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way” (Oxford Am. Dictionary).
    To me, this word indicates that we are unsure of our destination. I believe as educators, we tend to know exactly where we want to be.

    With my background as a Social Studies teacher, my ultimate goal is to help my students develop analytical thinking skills and become informed citizens who actively participate in our democratic process. However, I feel that there are many different paths I can take to help my students achieve these goals. I often wonder what my other options are. What other paths can I take that I maybe didn’t notice at first? What other methods do others use to effectively reach these ends? The word wonder is defined by phrases such as reflect on, muse on, puzzle over, speculate about, be curious about.

    As educators, I feel that we need to make sure it is ok for us to do these things. Sometimes our culture tells us otherwise. It should be ok for us to try new paths and new directions to reach our ultimate destination. This is how innovation occurs and better teaching practices evolve.

    These are the reasons why I chose to change wander to wonder. I am continually reflecting on my own thoughts, thus the alteration in the classic phrasing.

  4. Hey there Ellsbeth!

    Noticed you as a follower on Twitter, so I came to take a look. As an LOTR fan since I was 14, I have to love the Tolkien quote! More importantly, as an IT guy in the education arena, I also appreciate your blog, and have subscribed. You may have already come across this, but I blog about emerging internet technologies in education at http://www.emergingedtech.com. Stop by and take a look around when you have a moment – hopefully you’ll find some tools that can help you in your ongoing search for new ways to engage with your students.

    Thanks.

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