Opinion
Education Opinion

Tell Your Classroom Story

By Lisa Dabbs — February 24, 2018 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Christine,

Your post a few weeks ago on Finding Your Voice had some great points. I think new teachers are reluctant to share their voice on any subject that pertains to their work in the classroom. There’s an assumption on their part that no one cares or that no one is listening. Not true!

You shared this idea in your post and I was intrigued: In short, someone can feel confident with sharing his or her voice within the classroom, but be hesitant to share that voice and ideas with colleagues or with educators within a larger community.

Why? Are they afraid of ridicule or embarrassment by their peers? I mean I get it. It’s challenging to put yourself out there! It can feel awkward but we need to dismiss the idea that the voice of a new or aspiring teacher doesn’t hold any weight and find ways to support them to tell their classroom story and share it with a larger audience.

A couple of weeks ago you asked me this question:

What are some more ways that might help teachers to feel confident in sharing their voices and for teachers to get their voices out there in the world?

I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that question mostly because of the level of confidence that each individual has with putting themselves out into the world. You’ve been able to move past that boundary, Christine, because of the mentors you have in your life, and that’s not true for most teachers new to the profession. I think it comes down to being able to give new teachers examples of how to share their classroom story first that will then build their confidence to bring there message to the larger education community.

Let me share three ways that a new teacher might use to tell their classroom story. These aren’t new by any means but they are an easy way to share the experiences going on in the day to day work with students in the classroom that could lead a new teacher to open up to a broader audience.

1. Tell It With Video. Video is the most powerful medium at our fingertips. Using the medium of video to tell your classroom story is powerful. No need to use fancy video cameras or an expensive DSLR camera. Just pick up your smartphone, set it to video and record. Use it to capture the work, projects or events that are happening in your classroom. Find the ones that you enjoy and share them with your students and parents. Create a “story” with your videos using a simple app like Adobe Spark Post. This application lets you create amazing photo and video layouts for FREE! The process is easy to use and comes with great video tutorials. Soon you’ll be sharing stories of your classroom with your school community and in time you’ll want to use them to showcase your student’s amazing work on the web! (Just be sure you have parental permission to share your student’s likenesses when you’re ready to post.)

2. Tell It With Instagram. Ok, I’m going to take a leap here and suggest that new teachers tell their classroom story using Instagram. I know that for some this may feel like a HUGE invasion of privacy, but actually, when done right it can be fun. There are plenty of teachers currently on Instagram telling their classroom stories through the power of this social media app. They’re using their personal accounts to frame the conversation of what they’re doing to grow in the profession and what activities they’re doing in class with their students. There are lots of hashtags on IG that you can follow to see what teachers are doing, daily. If it feels too scary to share your classroom activities with a BIG audience at first, you can set up a separate account for your classroom and keep it private. Invite your colleagues, parents of your students, and students (if they’re of legal age to use IG) to follow this account and start to populate it with daily or weekly posts that tell your classroom stories.

3. Tell It With a Blog. I started blogging in late 2009. I was reluctant but was encouraged by my good friend Shelly Terrell to tell MY story with a blog. It was challenging at first but as I reached out for help from other bloggers in the education space, I was able to begin to share my experiences from my work as a school principal. It led me to seek a passion to support and mentor new teachers with a Twitter Chat! With a blog, you can tell your classroom story in a way that feels comfortable. Blogging is an activity that’s done in a casual voice. You’re not writing a dissertation, you’re simply speaking through your writing. There’re many platforms that make it easy and once you get started you’ll likely want to keep going. Not only that there are plenty of teachers on the web that would be more than willing to support someone new to blogging to get started. It’s one of the best ways I think that a new teacher can tell their classroom story incorporating easy writing, fun images, and videos and become comfortable sharing it with the world!

So now that we’ve talked a bit about telling your classroom story where are you in your work at this point of the school year? How are your lessons going? What seems to still be a sticking point in your work? Do you have a good long-term plan to finish out the school year? I’d love to know more.

Lisa

Photo by woodleywonderworks, licensed under Creative Commons.

The opinions expressed in The New Teacher Chat: Advice, Tips, and Support are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP
Education Massachusetts National Guard to Help With Busing Students to School
250 guard personnel will be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans, as districts nationwide struggle to hire enough drivers.
1 min read
Massachusetts National Guard soldiers help with logistics in this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, at a food distribution site outside City Hall, in Chelsea, Mass. Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, activated the state's National Guard to help with busing students to school as districts across the country struggle to hire enough drivers.
Massachusetts National Guard soldiers help with logistics in this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, at a food distribution site outside City Hall, in Chelsea, Mass.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Education FDA: ‘Very, Very Hopeful’ COVID Shots Will Be Ready for Younger Kids This Year
Dr. Peter Marks said he is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds will be underway by year’s end. Maybe sooner.
4 min read
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2021. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, Marks urged parents to be patient, saying the agency will rapidly evaluate vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds as soon as it gets the needed data.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2021.
Jim Lo Scalzo/AP