Saturday, March 26, 2016


Bořivoj Brdička



Why do I Teach? This is a question I ask myself every single day. Why am I still at school and not anywhere else? Maybe it is because I am not tire of it yet, because it still moves me somewhere, forces me to do new things. And when the students see the purpose, when they are successful and make good progress, it is a pleasure to be there. However, sometimes pleasure is replaced by sadness. Then one seeks a motivation and support anyplace. And the biggest one is often found in their colleagues, teachers.

On Twitter I have recently found a project #WhyITeach administered by community Teacher2Teacher. It is about teachers presenting their reasons why they teach. Inside the community you can share interesting resources, learn from others, together solve important issues that you are not able to resolve alone, or join various discussions. One of the person that collaborates with Teachers2Teachers is Sarah Brown Wessling. At the community website she is presented by her quote:
I learned the difference between teaching writing and teaching writers. 
Sarah Brown Wessling

The community uses hashtag #T2T on Twitter. Tweets with this hashtag include a question that people ask to find an answer. So you can reply and help others or send the message on (as a retweet) and at the same time also add your own questions. In this way you can take part in a discussion and gain useful tips and advices. In the community there are many leading teachers so a chance that you get an erudite answer is quite considerable. Besides Twitter you find the T2T community also on Facebook.

I have been thinking about how I would respond to the question. What is the main reason why I am still a teacher and not let’s say a bank clerk? Finally, my answer was short but apt: To inspire and be inspired. I retweeted it to the T2T community and it launched a series of subsequent actions.


By using a retweet I did not only publish my answer but also shared the original tweet by Emily Clare (on the picture above) thanks to which I had learned about the #WhyITeach project at the beginning. Emily is the principal of Avonworth High School in Pittsburgh whose school I visited recently under the IVLP program and with whom I am still in contact. Afterwards she sent me a #WhyITeach Storytelling Toolkit.

After being familiar with the toolkit instructions I have been following the whole event on Twitter and reading through the answers of other teachers and also how they share those answers within their schools or communities. And then I have got an idea. We need to involve Czech teachers and schools in this project. So I have shared the toolkit with my PEPOUŠ friends from group GEG Učte s námi and together we have been thinking about the ways of dealing and implementing the project in a Czech manner. Without mentioning it to my friends, my first thoughts led me not to a paper form but to an electronic one. Not only that they had the same thoughts, they have been able to go even further.

Petra Boháčková created electronic noticeboards, one in Czech and one in English and on them we have started posting our bubbles communicating the reasons why we teach. Someone used an application for creating comics, someone even added a Green Screen app to it, some used Skitch to fill in the bubbles on a tablet and others used something else. How people worked and what they used was not that important. More important was the content.

We have decided to share our online activity further, not only in the Czech community of teachers but also in the world. Thanks to Twitter we have been noticed by Teacher2Teacher group and they published our stories at their selection on Storify.

Don’t you want to join in and tell your colleagues, students and their parents about why you teach and what leads you to do this job? It would be great if there were more teachers sharing their stories with the others.

You can download this bubble here.

What would be in your bubble? And how would you make it? Would you try it without a paper? Please, share it with us.