How to Share Your Teaching Ideas When You Don't Feel You Have Any
This week on The Burned-In Teacher Podcast, Tom Mullaney of sustainableteaching.com and The Sustainable Teaching Podcast dropped some teaching truth bombs on us! His story of burnout is so encouraging and he shared some great opinions about how to get out of burnout and serve up some game-changing ideas to your fellow teachers, not just in your school, but around the world. That’s what he did, and he and I are encouraging you to do the same.
It was funny to me, that although we didn’t plan our conversation this way, we both had somewhat similar reasons for beginning our blogs and podcasts: we knew we had a story to share with the world that would serve others, even if we didn’t know exactly how to share at that exact moment.
One of my favorite things Tom said during our interview was, even if you feel like you stink at everything and you have nothing to offer, think of what you can improve and blog about your journey of improvement and the struggles that accompany that change.
So if you’re someone who has tossed around the idea of sharing your ‘game-changing’ ideas with the world, but aren’t sure where to start, here are some ideas on how you can begin to do that:
1.begin a Blog at blogger.google.com, Wordpress.com… heck… ANYWHERE. Just pick a platform and do it.
Tom shared in his interview that he wasn’t a huge fan of Blogger, but hey, it’s free, it’s a Google product and for me, it was a great place to start. Wordpress is pretty great too and they have a tiered system of payment, but I currently use Squarespace and am very happy with it overall. The bottom line is, you can start in one platform and change it, should you, #1 decide to continue and grow your blog or #2 you’re simply unhappy with the platform and want to move on.
2. Don’t like writing? create a youtube channel.
YouTube was never even an option for me, when I started blogging back in 2016, however, in an effort to meet any teacher in any platform that THEY enjoy best, in 2017 I decided to go for it. Not in a big way, but started by asking for educators to share what they wanted from me at Burned-In Teacher. Here's a link to that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3N693o2IrY&t=16s. At the point of this video, I didn’t know where Burned-In Teacher was going to go, who my direct audience was, or even how I was going to serve them. But I went for it anyway. Here’s my advice to you to make it super-easy to make a YouTube video:
Create a bullet-point list of your 3 main points you want to share.
Keep your video under 5 minutes long. (This is something I’m still working on.)
Do a YouTube Live. Seriously. It’s way less time invested and if you only have your three points to share, it takes the intimidation out of all of the planning and prep that you may have thought, in the past, needed to be done to create a YouTube video as a beginner. We aren’t competing with major YouTubers here, so don’t think too hard about it.
YouTube is something that I’ve decided is the next best step for me and the BIT mission, but maybe it isn’t for you. If you’re not ready for YouTube yet, how about…
3. Go live on facebook or instagram.
Depending on your comfort level, this could be more intimidating than YouTube, however it is an option. On these platforms, I’d stick with one topic only. This way, you can choose the point you want to make and share why you’re deciding to share that one lesson you’ve learned or the one way you’re changing the way you x in the classroom. Simple is the key here and these platforms are a great place to start.
4. keep it positive and growth-based.
No matter what platform you choose to share your game-changing ideas and experiences on, for goodness sake keep it positive. You may not know this, but in everything you do, say, and put out into the world, you are creating a “Teacher Brand”. We talk about this in The Burned-In Teacher Small Group Program and teachers are shocked that there really is a term for ‘what people think or say about you when they hear your name and you aren’t around.’ I’m not talking about gossip here, what I am talking about is the image and feeling you want other educators to associate with you when you aren’t there to defend it.
If you’re struggling with classroom management and behavior, don’t complain on your Live about how terribly behaved kids are now-a-days and how it’s all the parent’s fault. Whether or not those statements are true is purely subjective and they don’t serve anyone but yourself. Instead, share what you’re going to try differently tomorrow to better engage them or get to know them better. These are two different types of videos and two different ways you can either build your Teacher Brand or tear it down, by the way you choose to put your struggles out into the world.
If you have any questions or want more encouragement on what type of platform you should start with, find me on social media @burnedinteacher or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m cheering you on and want you to cheer yourself on too!