Jeb Dickerson

Always the toughest page to write. I’m not really big on discussing myself, but I’ll do my best to touch on the key points.

This has always been a place where I’ve written about the things that matter to me. Those things have changed over time, naturally, and if you’re keen to see what was on my mind in 2008, by all means have a look. But for now, and moving into the immediate future, my focus is on the following:

Educating our young people.

I made a mid-journey adjustment two years back and decided to pursue my long-held desire to teach. In June of 2012, I received my CA Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Sciences, and though I don’t yet have my own classroom (timing was never my forté), I’ve been subbing regularly in my local school district and paying close attention to the industry more generally.

I feel fortunate to be coming to the field of education at this time. I don’t think there’s ever before been a moment quite like the one before us as it concerns public education and I’m excited to see how it unfolds. Naturally, I plan to play a role in that story.

I have nothing but respect for the possibilities our technology offers in terms of improving the learning (and teaching) experience. I come to the field well versed in many current technologies and I’m looking very forward to putting them to use in pursuit of student engagement. I see so much missed opportunity in the classroom today, and I get it. I understand how someone who’s been teaching for a decade or two would be resistant to change. We’re all that way as it concerns something in our lives. That I’m coming to my role as a teacher without the burden of ten years of teaching a certain way, I see as a gift. And I think it puts me in a unique position to contribute. I’m anxious to get to it.

Teaching the less Tech-Savvy among us to nonetheless harness its power.

The unintended, but welcomed, by-product of this website has been the ability to help others use the power of the web to further their own goals. I began the site with zero background in anything web-related and, thus, taught myself how to build a blog, customize its design, add functionality, integrate social media and, ultimately, help teach others how to do the same.

As such, I now regularly assist small businesses, teachers, politicians, authors, and others to set up their own personal real estate on the web in the form of a website or blog. And perhaps even more fun than that, I also serve as a technology coach for these same sorts of folks, working one-on-one over the web (Skype, Google Hangouts, screen sharing, etc), teaching them to use the technological tools available today to advance whatever goals they may have.

Web design and development was never on my radar as a goal, but as I said, it’s a welcome result of starting this site so many years ago, and it fits in quite nicely with the afore mentioned ‘mid-journey adjustment’ as it’s a concrete and rewarding way for me to serve others in a teaching capacity.

Finding ways to encourage production and decrease consumption.

These last few years have done quite a bit to teach me that I don’t need half the things I’d grown accustomed to having. Half the things I’d considered necessities not long ago. They’ve also taught me that the real joys in life, the ones that stick, the ones that truly satisfy, come not from consuming what others offer, but from creating instead. From putting forth the mental, physical and emotional labor necessary to bring forth into the world my own creations. My own ideas. My own goals.

Often that creation has taken the form of writing for me, but that’s only one example. The way I see it, anything we do that helps bring some part of us out into the world that didn’t previously know the light of day, is creation. It could be running, playing music, building something physical, tangible, writing down goals and taking action in their direction. The list goes on.

In a world where sitting idly by, consuming, has become ever easier (think: video games, Instagram, Facebook, hundreds of cable channels, the internet [gotta take the bad with the good, right?], you name it), it seems we’ve forgotten the immense value inherent to *creating*. To doing. To working with our hands or spending time with our own thoughts and imagination, to actively pursuing important goals. Goals that truly enrich our experiences.

Marry this with my role as an educator, and I think we’ve got a pretty powerful combination. Learn by doing. By being engrossed in the learning process such that the process leaves tangible evidence that learning did, in fact, take place. Five thousand years from now, archeologists are going to dig up my classroom (perhaps more digitally than literally) and have a vivid picture of what we did every day. And they’ll know that we sent forth giants into the world.

None of it’s easy, mind you, but it’s important to me, so I work on it.