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Being an educator is a lot like practicing yoga.
Yogis strive to develop stronger, more flexible bodies. Educators work to develop stronger, more flexible minds.
Yogis form communities and seek out training to deepen their practice. Educators build professional learning networks and seek out leadership opportunities to support student success.
Yogis have Warrior, Tree and Downward Dog. Educators have the new ISTE Standards for Educators.
Think of them as asanas for your educational practice. The new standards, launched at ISTE 2017, provide a clear and simple roadmap for empowering learners in the digital age. You can use them just like yoga to achieve more balance and self-awareness within your educational sphere.
Here are five ways the ISTE Standards for Educators are like yoga:
1. They meet you where you’re at.
You don’t need any special skills to start doing yoga. Even if you’ve never heard of a child’s pose, you can still walk into a yoga studio, lay down a mat and start learning. The same is true for the new standards. Whether you’re tech-shy or tech-savvy, you can start wherever you’re at and begin applying the standards in your everyday work.
2. They’re flexible and customizable.
If you can’t quite manage a particular yoga pose, instructors can usually offer modifications to help meet your body’s needs. It’s a flexible practice that allows plenty of room for individuality and customization. Similarly, the standards are flexible guidelines that any educator can pick up and use in any learning situation. It’s up to you to make them work for you.
3. They’re about continuous improvement — not hitting a benchmark.
Yoga isn’t about how many pushups you can do or how fast you can run a mile. There’s no end goal—just an ongoing process of improvement. That’s what the ISTE Standards for Educators are intended to be. They’re not a benchmark you need to reach; rather, they’re a tool for perpetually learning and growing.
4. They emphasize support and community.
There’s a strong thread of community running through the yoga tradition. Practitioners often form tightly knit communities that help enrich and deepen their practice. Today’s successful educators do the same by developing strong professional networks that help them stay motivated while facilitating the exchange of ideas. The new standards recognize this type of community building as a key strategy for lifelong learning.
5. They offer a path to empowerment.
Many people see yoga as an empowerment tool. It’s transformative, boosts confidence and inspires self-realization. The ISTE Standards for Educators are also transformative when put into practice. They’re designed to help educators step into their own power. After all, the best way to help students realize their full potential is to model it by realizing your own.
Ready to roll out your yoga mat and start strengthening your digital learning and teaching skills? Click on the image below to download a digital version of this poster and a personal growth plan for adopting the ISTE Standards for Educators.