Today I took part in my very first Web 2.0 Event. I was at first a little sceptical, because I wasn't sure if I would feel comfortable enough to speak up, or if I was going to feel like I belonged. Since my true passion is Early Childhood Education I decided to look for a Tweet Chat that applied to early childhood. I found #kinderchat.
As the event started I was overwhelmed by the welcome that I received, people from the UK were asking me where I was from and commenting on my remarks. This week the subject was on policy regarding early childhood. I had no idea of the working conditions in some other countries. For example in England there average room size is 44! I was taken back my this. How is this possible? In Iowa the ratio for a three year old room is 1:8 (one teacher for every eight children) and the average class size is 16. During the tweet chat we talked about how if just for one day a policy maker could be in the shoes of a teacher, if they had to be in a classroom with 44 children, with 44 diapers to change or potty breaks, their lives would be changed as would the policies. We also discussed how to support one another knowing what we know about the policies we are dealt. So many said that we can support one another by sharing our ideas, our success, and failures. I have learned so much while being a part of this chat, and I do plan on joining in on it every week.
I think this is an awesome way to stay connected with not only teachers in our town or city, but with teachers across oceans. I will use this learning tool as a support in the future, and a way to keep my ongoing education alive. It is amazing what you can learn about another country and the situations they are in, and how policy affects all of us no matter where we are.
I used to think that policy problems were only right out our front door, and now I think that we need to stay united and fight together.
Food for thought: If you had the opportunity to learn from teachers across the world would you take that opportunity? Or would you just let it pass by you?
Image under creative commons/google images.