The assembly theme at my school this week was generosity. Our principal gave a humorous talk about the need for generosity in our lives. It involved lollies (sweets) so not surprisingly the students were entertained and amused. The following day we, along with many other schools around Australia, held a special day. Some schools wore mufti,  we sold ice-creams and collected gold coins. All in aid of the schools from Queensland and Victoria which were recently damaged by floods and cyclone Yasi. Many of the students gave generously.

So this week, the theme of generosity has not been far from my thoughts. Especially the generosity of spirit and assistance I witness daily through my computer. Teachers generously giving advice. Sharing programs, giving ideas, supporting colleagues. Daily I witness the giving away of ‘trade secrets’ which only a few years ago, would have stayed within the walls of their classrooms. The comments I received from my post last week really touched and helped me. I was moved by the generous words I read, from educators I admire, who responded with generosity to my words.

I have been trying to work out what it is about teachers, which is making us so generous? I know that every time I read a new blog post or check into twitter that I will learn something new. I will pick up a new idea or challenge myself with a new thought. In return I know that I am helping others with my techie brekkie blog . That is something that gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction and I don’t feel alone in this. Perhaps that is the reason that so many educators are filled with generosity? Perhaps even, it is because we were always filled with the spirit of generosity that we became teachers in the first place?

I drove home one afternoon this week listening to talk back radio host Richard Glover, an ABC afternoon journalist. He was speaking on the subject of social media being filled with complainers, that people were driven to use it to argue, to whinge and to criticise. As he spoke I thought, if only he knew what the world of educators was like. A world where social media is being used for the good of others, where information is given generously and in good faith. Where most, want only to improve the lives of teachers and students across the world.

I also thought, if only those teachers too busy for blogging, too busy to connect, too busy for social media knew of the generosity of spirit I witness daily. If only they knew, how much richer would their lives be too.

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  1. I too, am amazed by the generous nature of the teachers engaging with social media. There are times when I feel like giving it all up, when I’m tired or feeling down because others I work with give it little heed, but always, it is the generous nature of the network and the support I receive from it that keeps me there. Thanks Henrietta- you’re one of the generous souls keeping me at it!

  2. I think social media in general promotes some wonderful examples of sharing. But I love being able to read the wise words of educators from around the world and hope some day to pay it forward.

  3. Hi Henrietta,

    Firstly, I like the idea of having a theme at assembly!

    I love the generosity that exists online. I’m always trying to tell teachers who aren’t online how great it is to be part of a PLN!

    I guess what goes around comes around, when you’re surrounded by a generous group and experience generosity it encourages you to give back as much as you can.

    Like you I get personal satisfaction from being able to help other teachers. It’s like the satisfaction you get when you invest time into your students and see where they go. It must be part of our nature!

    Thanks for a great post,

  4. Ed

    So true Henrietta! If I just think of the past few days alone, I can think of so many examples of the generosity you are describing. I have received help and support and suggestions from several of my PLN on a range of issues…and that’s not counting the regular exchange of ideas and sharing of resources through blogs and twitter that happen all the time. I couldn’t agree more about those who are ‘too busy’. One of them at my school suggested that it’s because she ‘has a life’ that she can’t be actively learning online. I have a life too. Don’t you? AND we learn online 🙂

  5. I was doing a business pitch for a technology project this week and was trying to convey just what a generous group educators are. I think it is hard for those outside of this group to understand such generosity of sharing, collaboration, and building each other up…especially in the business world where it can very much be every man for himself. I’m honored to be part of such a generous community!

  6. Hello, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned your blog to read for my edm310 class with Dr. Strange. I completely agree with you about the generous nature of teachers. Looking back over my time in school I can think of countless teachers that went above and beyond for their classmates and their co-workers. They were truly an inspiration to see. I also agree about all of the resources that can be shared through social networking and other internet tools. Those who are “too busy” to use these mediums should really look into it.