Those who know me well know that I am NOT good at navigating. You can hand me a street guide, a GPS device, and a donut, and I'd only know what to do with the donut. That being said, it's pretty ironic that I'll be a Geography teacher come August. If it weren't for the awesome squads of colleagues I've met on a curriculum writing team and on Twitter, I'd literally and figuratively be LOST. These new-found colleagues have become my roadmaps, and they are helping me to navigate not only my curriculum but also the multitude of incredible resources available to Geography teachers these days. Allow me to elaborate...
I joined my district's Social Studies curriculum writing team in March, after being assigned to Antonia Middle School and being given the opportunity to teach 7th Grade Geography. Since the grade level and content area would be new to me, joining the curriculum writing team was a smart move. I now have a good grasp of my content area and am starting to visualize teaching the 6 units that my team and I are designing. I find myself paying way more attention to international news and human rights issues. Certain topics really matter to me now, and not just because the topics fall under a Geography unit umbrella. The topics matter because I'm a global citizen, in charge of educating other (much younger) global citizens. The colleagues I've met and work with each month on the curriculum writing team have helped me come to this epic understanding.
Right about the time that I started writing curriculum for my content area, I started participating in the weekly World Geo group chat on Twitter (@worldgeochat). The chat has 5 moderators, each of them gifted in their content areas and knowledge of instructional resources. I have been diligent about participating in their chat (almost) each week since March because a) the moderators and other participants are SMART, b) the chat has widened my net of great edus to follow on Twitter, c) the chat topics are interesting and relevant, and d) I always come away with resources to explore further on my own time. The World Geo group chat on Twitter and its moderators are now precious roadmaps to carry with me into the new school year and beyond.
I've seen often on Twitter posts about finding your "tribe". Now that I know where I'll be come August, and what I'll be teaching, it's safe to say that I've found my tribe. If you haven't found yours yet, there's still time. Look around you at the next staff meeting or at the next Summer PD workshop you attend...or hop on Twitter and use the right hashtags to find your tribe...to find your roadmaps.
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