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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kristen Mattson

We’re so much cooler online…

Have you heard the Brad Paisley song, I’m So Much Cooler Online? The lyrics to that song, specifically the chorus, have been going through my head a lot in the last few weeks.

I have had Library Media Center Directors and technology leaders from around the area contacting me to see if they could make a visit to our library. People hear about the work my team and I have been doing through this blog and through my posts on Twitter and other social media sites, and I guess they see something in the work that speaks to them and their situation. As a teacher, my doors are always open – to students, peers in my building, and colleagues outside of it….

but here is the thing: we’re so much cooler online!

What do I mean by that?

Well, I think it is easy for us bloggers, connected educators, and leaders to share our successes. When things go well or we have a great idea, of course we want to put it out to the world! But here’s the thing…. are we making a mistake by only sharing the good?

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the look on people’s faces when they walk into my space and notice the dirty carpet, mismatched furniture, dingy walls. I’ve seen the bit of doubt in their eyes when they realize that on the surface, what we have isn’t much prettier than what they do.

So, I guess this is just my moment to say to all of you who read this blog, to those who look at Pinterest and Twitter and other social media sites and feel completely overwhelmed with it all…STOP. Stop feeling overwhelmed. Stop feeling like you aren’t doing enough. Stop feeling like you don’t have anything to offer. The truth is, we are all so much cooler online.

And while I am the topic, here is some more truth:

  1. There are days when I shut down my maker space because I don’t have the staff to facilitate it.

  2. There are days when I want to throw my hands in the air because the kids would much rather “chill out” than engage in any type of learning.

  3. Every period of the day: materials are left out, water bottles get left behind, furniture ends up in disarray.

  4. There never seems to be enough time, money, or people to support the work that I know is best for kids.

  5. Even in our most successful moments, the path to get there is messy.

But, here is the good news. News that was shared with me today by a wonderful colleague, Lynn White: “change happens in the small moments.” Change doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars on the newest technology, the newest furniture, and the rest of the best of the best. Change happens when we make connections with our kids. When we share our successes AND our struggles with our colleagues – when we support one another on this crazy ride called education.

So, friends…keep sharing your successes, but share your struggles too. It’s important that we are all in this together; our online personas shouldn’t shut out or shut down the ambition of others in the field. I look forward to more of your failure stories, and promise to share a few more of my own too 🙂

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