All. By. My. SELF! When my middle child was three years old, those were his favorite words. He was experimenting with his independence and wanted to do everything by his self. He was quick to announce to anyone who would listen that help was not needed. Why is it that we teachers do the same thing? We feel we must do everything all by ourselves. We talk about how our students need to learn to collaborate, yet do we model that skill? Are we really doing all we can to learn from each other and help each other grow?

Last summer while at ISTE in Philadelphia, I attended a session led by Will Richardson. During his presentation, he discussed the importance of educators connecting and collaborating with each other. He stated that if we are not sharing the best of ourselves then we really aren’t doing anything to counteract all the negativity directed toward our profession. His comments really caused me to think about my own habits. When I am designing work for my students, I typically go to the web and see what I can find that others have already done. I had to stop and ask myself how much I was giving back. I’m thankful there are teachers out there willing to share the best of their ideas. I am now trying harder to do the same.

During my transition to a 1:1 environment this year, one of the challenges I faced was how to effectively integrate technology into a math classroom. I was determined to use the laptops I now had access to as more than word processing tools. I just wasn’t sure how to do that. So, I went to my favorite PD and lesson planning tool…Twitter. Sure enough, little by little, I began to find math teachers willing to share their best. I’ve found lessons and ideas created by other teachers. Sometimes I add to them or otherwise adapt them to meet the needs of my students, and sometimes I use them just as they are. I am thankful to these educators for their willingness to share.

We don’t have to do this alone. In these days when teachers are constantly under attack, we must support each other, build each other up, and do our best to not let anyone feel they are all by themselves. Are you sharing your best? If you aren’t, I hope you will!

Here are some of the best I have found… Yummy Math, Utah Education Network, Adams County School District 50, Bridgeport School System, Ohio Resource Center, Curriki. There are so many more. Please share some you have found!

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