Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Does My Voice Matter?

I've been toying with this blog post for a while, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say.



One thing that keeps coming to my own personal thoughts is the idea of "does my voice really matter"?  Do I have ideas that are worth sharing?  Can I have an impact on anyone?

And the more I involve myself with others the more that I see that there are many of us who feel that way.

I think about the first time I got on Twitter.  When I first joined twitter I said very little.  I was seeing great ideas and tweets shared by other educators and all that kept going through my head was "no one needs to hear what you have to say".  So I sat back and watched.  I watched the interactions take place, the relationships form, and the ideas be shared.  And you know, honestly, that's how I was acting within my own school too.  I closed my door, did my own little creative things behind my walls and kept it all to myself.  Why?  Fear.  Fear that I would be chided.  Fear that I was doing it "wrong".  And even Fear that it wasn't good enough.

Then one day I decided to participate in a Twitter chat...I didn't say much at first.  I just tweeted one or two things.  But that feeling you get when someone retweets something of yours or favorites one of your tweets, it's hard to explain to others.  It's this weird sense of validation.  This kind of way of making you feel like, "maybe I can share something of use".  And so I began to tweet more and more and began to get more honest on Twitter and share my thoughts and ideas of how to make education better.

That lead into blogging.  I have always loved writing, but writing for myself.  Not sharing with others...hence why my children's book that got printed took 7 years after finishing it for me to get the nerve to put it out there.  But blogging gave me an outlet.  And from the first blog post I did I made a conscious decision that I wanted to be completely honest.  I wanted to give a real life glimpse of my struggles and my joys within my classroom.

And from there I began to get the nerve to blog about all kinds of things and not just things that are going on in my classroom.  And now I travel all over the state of Texas speaking, I write blogs that get tons of hits, and I have thousands of followers....why?  Is my "voice" really that moving?

And I realize, we all have a voice.  We all have something about us that makes us stand out, that makes us special, that makes us who we are.  And when we sit there and think "Does my voice Matter?" all we're doing is demeaning our God-given gifts.  We aren't setting an example that is worthy of our students following.  We became educators for a reason; to lead and to teach and to connect.  We all are good at what we do in one way or another, and honestly I think it's kind of unfair to the other educators NOT to share.

At many trainings I do I am always begging teachers to get on Twitter.  Why?  Because I know I don't have all the answers, ideas, solutions....but others do!  And the more people I can convince to blog, tweet, Pin, Clip, or Podcast, the more ideas that are going to get out there that I can borrow from!

So I write this to say to you, YES YOU, you have a voice.  And guess what, it matters.  To who?  To me and to so many others you may never even meet.  So please take the time to share what you're doing in your school, at home, online, in your class, your community, whatever!  JUST SHARE.  Because your voice matters.  There are many of us hungry for new ideas from people just like you.  So start today!

I heard this song driving to my hotel today and thought the lyrics fit perfectly with who I am and sorta this post too....here's a snippet...

I want to Stand out

I wanna stand tall
I wanna be myself even if it means
I won't fit in at all
I wanna be real
I wanna be me
Cause everything I am is who I'm meant to be

I was meant to be free
- Jessie Daniels

Would love to hear comments below OR share your blog with me below so I can have some more great people to read from!  Or better yet if you've never blogged START TODAY and share your post with me!


18 comments:

  1. Todd,
    Thank you for your honest post that describes feelings, I believe, many of us have felt at one time or another. What I love about Twitter and blogging is that it helps me reflect and work through best practices with the help of amazing educators. Once I realized that we are all different educators at different points of reflection and are not compared to each other at all, it was so much easier to believe that my voice mattered.

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    1. Love that line of thought! Let's not compare ourselves at all to each other! THANK YOU for commenting!!

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  2. I agree! I have tended to be sporadic in my digital presence- mostly because investing time and energy in a blog post and then getting no comments felt lonely. Then I realized I might tweet a link to a post that struck me but I never commented myself! Bitter medicine!
    I encourage people all the time to tweet, to blog and yes to comment! We have so much to learn from one another!

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    1. Completely agree about feeling discouraged with no comments! But I'm the same way! I see lots of great posts that I never even comment on but I do share about! Thanks for sharing Theresa!

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  3. What a great post. I am very new to blogging and new to Twitter and I posted about the "wheel" of the teaching year on July 5. (OChemPrep.blogspot.com) It was actually a very difficult post to write: I had a truly amazing year in my classroom last year, and with that blog post, I had to start looking forward. I am a lurker in so many online spaces, so posting my own thoughts felt very scary. (Much like being in high school...) Thanks for the pep talk!

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    1. I was the same way about being afraid of putting my thoughts out there. Thanks for commenting Julia and I can't wait to read your blog :)

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  4. Todd,

    Your post touches on so many things that I'm feeling right now. I've been a lurker for a few weeks and often feel as you stated you have felt. I actually just posted my very first blog http://rachelwhitney21.blogspot.com/ which was a very big step for me. I also tend to be one that is private with what I am doing, but I know I need to push myself to share more. I figure if I can learn from others experiences, why can't someone learn from mine? Here's to taking risks!!

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    1. So glad you liked my post! I am def gonna be checking out your blog. Thanks for sharing a link :)

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  5. Todd,

    Suffice it so say I needed this right now. I love being connected, but sometimes I get too obsessed in the numbers game (How come nobody reads my blog? Why does that person get so many new followers and I don't?). It is important to remind myself that I can't worry about other people, I just need to work on improving myself. After all, it really is about the students, and that should always be the number one concern. Thank you for the post!

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    1. I'm a numbers guy too and often have to remind myself to focus on learning and sharing and not numbers! Thanks for commenting :)

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  6. Great work again Todd. I still haven't participated in my first Twitter Chat yet, but I plan to join in the fun soon :) Check out my blog: hatechalk.blogspot.com I've been on a blogging spree recently and I have many posts in draft form. I hope the people who read each post take something away even if it's not education related. Like Dave Burgess says, I believe there are Life Lessons all around us! I know I've learned a lot just through the reflection process. #Dare2Share Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. Love your comment Arin! It's been great getting to know you through Twitter and your blog! Join in the chats, you have tons of great ideas/opinions.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this! I''m just starting to blog and tweet and it is a sort of comfort to know I'm not the only one that had to swallow some fear and make a leap of faith to feel that I might have something to share with the mathtwitterblogosphere! My new blog is at http://think2relate.blogspot.com

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    1. It's def a leap of faith! Thanks for commenting and I can't wait to check out your blog!

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  8. Todd, I have read lots of blog posts, but yours is perhaps the most real and honest one I have ever read. Every teacher is a valuable resource and we should model collaboration for our students every day. I am also new to the world of blogging. I wrote my first post a few weeks ago and, after reading many other blogs by great educators, figured I didn't really have a anything worth sharing. Thanks for the inspiration and honesty - excuse me while I tweet this post and begin my next one.

    http://elementarytechblog.wordpress.com

    -Chris Rogers
    @cdr58_1977

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    1. Wow Chris! Thanks for the compliments! I will DEF be checking your blog out so thanks for sharing that too!

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    2. Todd, thank you for encouraging all educators to add their voices. I agree with you: YES, all voices are important and we need to model for our students that we need to speak up. Like you, I started out on twitter by lurking. As I joined in some chats, I realized that I learned so much more by interacting with others, because that was when true reflection was happening. Though I haven't started a blog yet, encouragement from you and others is helping me move in that direction. I truly enjoy your insight and thank you for your honesty.

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