Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Academic Philanthropy

I became a teacher because I love my subject. I even talked about it way back when I started my journey of filming and blogging - it was a passion for my subject. Nothing more, nothing less. After nearly 15 years teaching, I still love Science, particularly Chemistry and Biochemistry (but all branches of Science blow me away; I am a true geek!).

However, I think I have really grasped the essence of being a teacher as well - academic philanthropy and empowering of others. I have no desire to be famous; I don't even think I want to be rich (just as well in this line of work). I get that rush of endorphins from knowing I have made a difference. That is why I check views on my YouTube channel and my blogs, and why I read every comment on them (and on Twitter). That is why it means so much when my students thank me after a lesson or at the end of the year. It is why I care so much about their results (for some reason, I don't feel accountable to anyone except the students themselves - judge me if you wish).

From blogging and posting on YouTube, I have seen that people from all over the world have gained something from some of the things I write and film. I am no Khan Academy, but it feels good to help. Then, Socratic got in touch. They are taking this idea of academic philanthropy a step further. If you teach Chemistry, please get on board. Students can ask questions and academics and teachers post answers. Do 1-2 answers per week; get your students to ask questions - it looks like it could be a good community to be part of.

This world is getting smaller, and there are so many more ways to be academically philanthropic...if I can make the time!!