This post is part of the 30-Day Blog Challenge from TeachThought. To learn more about the challenge go to www.teachthought.com/teaching/reflective-teaching-30-day-blogging-challenge-teachers/.
DAY 26: What are your three favorite go-to sites for help/tips/resources in your teaching?
My day is fueled by routines. I am one of those people who feels out of sorts and crabby when her routine is disrupted. I'm worse than a toddler who misses her nap. One of those routines is my morning ritual, helping me ease into the day. I wake up a couple of hours before I need to be at work. Some days, I go to the local fitness center. Once I'm home again, I make my breakfast (always the same thing: fruit, plain yogurt, and granola), feed the cat, and grab my iPad for my daily wade into a stream of various ed-tech resources.
First, I check my e-mail. There are two Paper.li newsletters that I subscribe to and receive daily via e-mail: "The Teacher Technology Daily" published by Jason Seliskar and "#flipclass" published by David Prindle. I think I stumbled upon them while scanning Twitter about a year ago. Next, I open up my Newsify app and skim through all of the blogs I'm subscribed to. Finally I open up Zite and read through any articles that catch my eye.
Essential to each of these subscriptions or apps is the ability to easily e-mail or tweet out the resources to my colleagues, and/or add the resources to my Evernote account. Although they seem like simple resources, these blogs and news articles have been my most reliable source of up to date ed-tech news, trends, and just plain old thoughtful teaching. When I look at how much I've learned throughout a year of diligently maintaining this routine, I'm amazed. It easily beats out any other professional development I've participated in with simply the volume of information I've been able to have access to.
I love taking the time to read through all of these resources in a quiet house early in the morning before anyone else is awake. It is during this time of the day that my brain is the freshest and most ready to process new information. If I ever miss this routine for any reason, it feels like my entire day is off-kilter. I guess it's really not all that different from the very traditional reading of the newspaper over cup of coffee in the morning. I've certainly come to rely on these resources for news, as well as my daily dose of inspiration.
Photo from Bryce Bradford on Flickr. Licensed via Creative Commons.