Radiator or Drain?

I know a minister who often asks in his sermons are you a radiator or a drain? A positive person who adds, grows, develops and energises those around you? Or a negative, problem finder who seems to sap enthusiasm from people by always finding fault?

I am very much a radiator. One of most used phrases is “that’s so exciting!” I get pretty passionate about things that I am interested in and involved.

This week I presented at TeachMeet for the first time.  It was the final session of #niedcamp, which I’ve spoken about a lot before. my presentation was on the online learning journal Seesaw  and how I have been using it with my class since April.

Before the TeachMeet started I was really nervous, which surprised me.  I hadn’t expected that I would feel so nervous about a 7 minute presentation on something we use everyday.

I talked about when I downloaded Seesaw I thought it would just be an online filing system, something to make my life easier,help with workflow in the classroom and building a portfolio of evidence for my class.  Even at that I was pretty excited about it. I loved the ease of login with QR codes, I loved the intuitive design and format that meant my kiddos would be able to handle it, the voiceover function to narrate their work and the options to have photos or emojis for each child (my class wanted the emojis).  I expected that to be it.

Once I started using it with my class though, I learnt that it would have an effect on their learning as well as my filing! My students became more confident and their self esteem rose, they had work to be proud of! They became more confident and competent speakers by talking about their work in the voiceover feature.  from using language like “we have been learning to” their capabilities in talking about their learning and evaluating their work has been increased.  The have become more independent in terms of taking charge of their own learning by filing it online themselves.

I’m now excited about Seesaw because of how it benefits my pupils AND how it helps me out as a teacher.  This is excitement and enthusiasm is obvious because @ciarnaC from “No Such Thing as Bad Weather.” sent me a tweet after my presentation to say “Your enthusiasm shines through, how lucky are those children in your class!”

I am happy being a radiator.  Someone who gets excited and passionate and engaged in things that will make a difference to them and to others.  I know at times it might make me look silly or naive, but I’m not going to apologise and I’m not going to change. I will continue to see the world as a place that’s worth getting excited about.  Where wonderful things happen everyday, where small triumphs and discoveries warrant big celebrations.

In the words of Roald Dahl;

“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are invested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed.  Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it.  LUKEWARM IS NO GOOD.”


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