A lot of people, myself included, can be resistant to change, especially in the form of new technology. We say that the old way of doing things has always worked before, so why change it now? But I have to admit that as I reflect on my teaching practice over the last few years, I recognize that it has vastly improved, thanks in no small part to my interactive whiteboard. I’m reminded of the Zen principle that tells us that our path to enlightenment begins with ourselves, which requires us to focus on who we are and how we want to live our lives. I know that I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be, and since the interactive whiteboard helps me do this, it brings Zen into my classroom.
How Did I Ever Teach Without It?
When we first received our interactive whiteboards at my school, most of my colleagues were so excited and couldn’t wait to start using them. But honestly I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do with it. Slowly I started learning how to incorporate it into my lessons, and I learnt that it could be a valuable tool in the classroom.I often wonder how I ever taught without it. It has streamlined my lesson planning process and helped me design instruction and teaching materials that meet specific student needs. It truly has made me a better teacher, and my students have profited from this tremendously. And that benefits me personally, because helping them to be as successful as they can be brings me so much fulfillment.
Make an Art Out of Your Technological Life
Zen tells us that art is anything that we can do well. Teaching is an art, and weaving technology into it while still focusing on the human touch can be a balancing act. But with time and practice we learn how to achieve that balance between using the interactive whiteboard as a tool for enriching our students’ learning experience, and teaching them how to use that knowledge to be successful without over-relying on technology.
Woody Allen once said that 80% of success is just showing up. Spend time with your interactive whiteboard. Play with it every day so you can learn how to use it well. In doing so you’ll be able to fully integrate it into your instruction and get the most out of it. Becoming more fluent with your interactive whiteboard will help you to be more present and live in the moment with your students. Because you can easily find and design differentiated activities and interactive tools to meet your students’ needs, you’ll spend more time with them in the moment teaching them. Also, when one of those surprising and special “teachable moments” arises, you can easily deviate from your plans and have instant access to any information and extension activities that will answer your students’ questions.
Our journey towards enlightenment begins with understanding ourselves. Who am I, and what do I want my life to be? I truly believe that I was born to be a teacher. This profession has brought me so much joy and fulfillment, and the challenges I have faced have made me a better person. The interactive whiteboard has given me an edge, or an advantage, that helps me do this job better. I know I’m on the path that’s right for me, and my interactive whiteboard helps me along the way. How has your interactive whiteboard brought you Zen?