A Short Conversation With…Shawn Ram @sram_socrates
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for twelve years and have taught all grades and subjects from grade one up to grade eleven.
Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?
My educational philosophy has grown placing more emphasis on student achievement and understanding, rather than the completion of a set of objectives. In addition I have realized that the use of technology is not to be a novelty that is one used for projects and research, but that technology is a learning tool that helps students in their understanding of concepts. There is also a very large emphasis in my philosophy on relationships, not just relationships with colleagues and with parents, but more importantly relationships with the students in my classroom and in the halls of the school.
Has Twitter played a role in your evolution as a teacher? If so, how?
Twitter has been an amazing networking tool and resource, and I would hope it continues to be a significant influence in my evolution as a teacher.
Twitter has allowed me to connect with hundreds of other teachers, whose passions for teaching and technology align with my own. Twitter has also connected me with many colleagues, that although I don’t work with and have never met face to face, I could call friends. Twitter has altered my philosophy, that teachers and their classrooms are independent islands. I have seen and come to the conclusion that you can choose to remain an island and disconnected, or you could connect and reap the rewards.
Finally, twitter being the tool that it is and the professional development opportunities that exist with in it have allowed me to grow in one year more than I had in the previous eleven.
What’s the best advice you have received as a teacher (or can give to a new teacher)?
You are a teacher, but this inherently means you are also a learner. Ask questions; ask for help. Many of us have been there will not see it as a sign of weakness of inability. Join Twitter you increase, because your staffroom will increase from what it is to infinite possibilities. Reflect, not only in your teaching, but in your relationships and other aspects of life. This reflection helps you grow personally. Finally, the most important piece of advice I could give is – BALANCE – learn to balance work life and personal life. It took me a little longer to understand and apply this, but now that I have, I am baffled as to how I lived previously.
Shawn blogs here