Ask me a question about how to do something to do with Ed Tech or education in general. I admittedly may or may not know the answer, but you just made an impression on me. A great one. If I see or hear you ask one of those types of questions of ANYONE, I pretty much ((heart)) you.
I admire curious people. I love lovers of learning. I think very highly of people who ask questions. I’m particularly impressed with people who are ‘in the biz’ aren’t afraid to admit when they don’t know something, or seek out the expertise of those around them. I’m enamored with the wonderers and the seekers of new knowledge. I put people with a true growth mindset on a pedestal. You ask questions with the goal of self-improvement? You, my friend, are a humble and ambitious edu-hero!
Why? I myself crave learning. I admit when I don’t know something, and I’m comfortable saying that there’s a whole stinkin’ lot I don’t know! I turn to colleagues and coworkers and members of my PLC and PLN when I don’t understand something. I go to workshops and conferences and seminars and webinars and edcamps and meetups and Google Hangouts and social media…to network and connect and learn new things and to ASK QUESTIONS!
Conversely, I have little understanding of people – particularly in education – who go out of their way to exude overconfidence in only ever providing answers. If you’re not asking questions, education is not the business for you. If you’re not seeking to grow and learn, not following educators with skill sets bigger than yours, I just can’t understand how you got into this field. If you always make sure that you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to find a new room.
I was on Twitter this morning. I came across someone who is absolutely famous in the world of education…someone who has well over 100,000 followers, but follows less than 800 people. I unfollowed him. Then I came across someone who has over 65,000 followers, but follows less than 200. I unfollowed him, too.
I follow and participate in Twitter chats all the time. They’re amazing. I learn a lot and enjoy getting tips and sharing ideas with friends and educators from all over the globe. Chat members share advice and lean on each other for resources and support. But occasionally…..occasionally…..people join who only ever spew knowledge but never put a question mark at the end of a tweet. For shame, for shame. What’s even sadder is that there are educators in all of our districts who are like that, too….overconfident (but insecure) and definitely lacking humility.
C’mon – be a question marker! Be an asker! Follow lots of smart people. Be a help seeker and a self-improver. Be humble and confident enough to put yourself out there and ask for others to share what they know. Be brave enough to wonder and not pretend that you know the answers all the time. It’ll make you a better person and a better educator.
Most of all, I truly believe that it will make you a better role model for the students that we hope will have that same brave and humble curiosity to love and pursue learning.