I don’t have a single particular reason for not being a part of the Instagram community; its corporate parent, Facebook, and the use of my images for any possible promotion in the future makes me anxious. I’ve used Pressgram (RIP), Hipstamatic, and a few other “apps” for photo sharing, including Flickr, for many years now. And when it comes to being social, I usually need a better buy in than just “this tool is so cool!”
So it probably comes as no surprise that I didn’t join for just one particular reason either. I became enamored with the “community first” idealism being displayed in the EdTech Baton project. I recently watched Dear, Mr. Watterson, and I became nostalgic for an era now gone when a comic strip was much more than just a comic strip. And I thought to myself….you haven’t pushed yourself into uncomfortable territory recently, let’s see what I can do to challenge myself to grow.
Which I know seems odd; by joining Instagram, the very symbol of the “me too” movement, how am I stretching myself? I’ve been operating “on the other side of the fence” for almost five years now. I’ve been an instructional coach, a technologist, and quasi-admin (my district still doesn’t entirely understand how many administrative tasks I perform), and have spent much of that time investing in more critical thought aligned to staff development, how to be a better teacher of adults, and wrestling with questions at a district and state level. I feel as though I’ve lost a lot of opportunities to be playful and spontaneous in the way most classroom teachers are in trying to engage and connect with learners. In other words, I spend so much time in my own head that I often worry about whether I can still effectively relate to the more immediate needs of a classroom teacher.
Maybe being a part of the Instagram community will help, and maybe it won’t. Maybe I just need to schedule more time to be in classrooms as an observer, not as the tech coach or an aide for the instructor. It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m finding a way to regularly think about staying connected to the classroom, and acting on those thoughts, right? And while I’m doing it, I might as well bring my friend Piggy along for the ride 🙂