Don’t discount your ideas: YOU have practices worth sharing

My post on discovering the 2×10 strategy has gotten over 200,000 page views in the past week and 35,000 shares on Facebook and incredibly, is still going strong. Literally thousands of teachers were just as impressed as me by the simplicity of the idea. We all know we need to build relationships with kids, but we hadn’t heard of a concrete strategy that makes the idea so simple and easy to implement and produces results immediately.

There were also hundreds of teachers who echoed the sentiments of this commenter:

I have always done this. I don’t think anyone really invented it, teachers just naturally do this with their students. At least the ones I work with.

It seems that there was a whole underground army of educators using the 2×10 in one form or another…but they weren’t talking about it. They were quietly going about their work doing amazing things for kids, and most of them were not telling anyone outside of maybe a few colleagues.

To them, it was no big deal. It was just what good teachers do.

But to other people…it was life-changing.

This is why it’s so important to be a connected educator. Share the stuff you are doing. Just because it’s obvious to YOU doesn’t mean it’s obvious to someone ELSE.

I’ve created this entire website, my books, my professional development sessions, and more around this principle of simply sharing what I’m doing as an educator. The ideas I write about are not earth-shattering. Most of them are just things that I do intuitively. But what’s obvious to me is not necessarily something other people might think to try…and what’s obvious to you won’t come naturally to everyone else, either.

Some of the things that resonate most with other teachers are the simplest things I’ve either thought up myself or tweaked from an existing teaching idea, like the 3 Before Me Rule or the Clean Desk Diagram. I’ve had literally hundreds of teachers thank me for sharing those ideas and use the exact same phrase: Why didn’t I think of that? And they totally could have! My ideas are stuff that any teacher can come up with. I’m not anything special here. I’m just sharing what has worked for me. And I think you should do the same.

Don’t discount your ideas: YOU have practices worth sharing!

There’s really nothing new under the sun, so don’t discount your ideas because they’re not revolutionary or 100% original. The best ideas are just small improvements on existing ideas, strategies, or products.

It breaks my heart to hear teachers say, “But I don’t have any ideas to share! I don’t really do anything creative or different!” Yes, you do. 

Anytime you’ve taken a simple strategy or idea and tweaked it so it works better for your classroom, you’ve created something worth sharing. And since most teachers use very few strategies straight from the teachers’ manual, it’s likely that you’ve put your own personal spin on almost everything you do. SHARE IT.

Don’t be discouraged when other people say, “Yeah, I already do that.” Because there are teachers out there who don’t already do it. Teachers need practical solutions and there’s no way they can possibly know them all. If you have solutions, share them. You never know who you might be helping.

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Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Subscribe via email to get her best content sent to your inbox!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather aka HoJo October 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Thank you for sharing this post! This is the EXACT reason I started my blog three years ago. I’m not saying I do anything earth-shattering in school, but I know I have ideas that may save others time and/or sanity. That is what makes blogging worthwhile to me! But you don’t have to be a blogger. Share your idea with a colleague, write about it for a local educational magazine, or find another way to get the word out there! Thank you, Angela, for a great post reminding all teachers that we do have something to contribute!
~HoJo~

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2 Angela Watson October 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Heather, I really like your point about saving other teachers time. It is incredibly time consuming to come up with lesson ideas, strategies for classroom management, etc., and often we have to go through multiple iterations before we stumble on something that’s effective. If we can cut out those hours for someone else and help them get right to a workable solution, what a tremendous benefit we’ve provided!

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3 Jackson Yeo October 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hey thanks for the post. I agree with you totally that what makes us a more effective teacher is just simply sharing what we have done. Hey Heather aka Hoo, what is your blog? I might be able to learn something too:)

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