Does Anyone Really Notice?

A few days ago I was searching for some additional resources to help teachers at my school develop their wikis. My principal has decided that all teachers in our K-12 school should have a wiki for their class. We have done some basic training on creating wikis last year and will be working toward the principal’s goal this school year. But, just as in the classroom, some wonderfully eager educators are ready to jump in. They just need someone to push them. So, I guess I’m the pusher.

Even though I created a wiki last year on how to create a wiki, I thought I’d look around and see if anyone had one better than mine. As I expected, most were better than mine. I found lots of different things that will help the teachers at my school and I added the links and descriptions to my wikihelp page. But what I found in the process made my day!

A wonderful little wiki called walthamhigh on wikispaces caught my eye. It is an attractive, easy to follow help page for teachers at a school, evidently Waltham High School. I read the author’s list of reasons for creating wikis, directions on how to go about it, and the list of resources for helping teachers along the way. Then, I saw it. She listed my class wiki as an example of a good class wiki! WOW! How cool that the same author that I was busy admiring, admired me!

This web 2.0 thing never ceases to amaze me. We tell our students that people are always watching us, always judging our work. “Always, do your best. You never know who might notice.” I wonder if we teachers realize the power of our words. Many of us who have jumped at the opportunity to use web tools in the classroom must be mindful of our example. Our unconvinced colleagues are constantly evaluating our methods, messages, and effectiveness. We can’t be sloppy. Since this happened, I have been busy cleaning up the messy spots I hope my admirer missed. We all know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

This time, I was lucky enough to stumble upon someone who noticed something good about my work. Next time, who knows?

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