Last year, I set out on a new journey. I launched my own education podcast. Doing that in the middle of a pandemic while I was having to learn new curriculum at work and figuring out how to teach students in a wide variety of situations (I think I taught just about every combination of face-to-face and online class last year) seemed pretty crazy. Why take on something new like that?
Honestly, I don’t have an answer for why. I just know that I felt like i needed to. So, I launched the 8-Bit Instructor podcast at the end of July last year. The goal was simple: to help teachers put together an authentic learning environment in their classrooms that felt real and genuine to them as well as their students. Since I’ve always been somewhat of a gamer nerd and into fantasy and science fiction stuff, 8-bit felt like a good fit for me and the podcast. It harkened back to the days when I used to play the impossible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the original NES.
I met some really great folks who are doing wonderful things in education. I developed some great relationships, and I really started stretching what I was doing in the classroom. I wasn’t getting a lot of traction, though. After a lot of thought and talking to several others, I realized a lot of it had to do with the name. While my intention was authentic education, 8-bit seemed to carry more connotations of something like coding, so I wasn’t necessarily reaching my target audience.
You live and learn, right? So, I started thinking about rebranding the podcast. At the same time I was looking at theming out my classes for next year, which was essentially a hero’s journey idea. I realized that teaching is that same kind of journey. We start as rookie teachers, walking into this new, unfamiliar world. We gain mentors and make allies along the way. We encounter successes and failures, but we keep moving forward and gain new wisdom along the way.
It fit. So I ran with it.
The thing about hero’s journeys is that they don’t do it alone. Where would Frodo have been without Sam? Or the efforts of Merry and Pippin and Aragorn and everyone else? You see, the journey is not meant to be taken alone. This is our quest, and we’re stronger together. This is the Educator’s Quest, and I hope you’ll join me on my journey.