My Journey

Deborah Harris
Posted September 19, 2011 from United States

I’m a career educator. I have been teaching for over thirty years. For the last thirteen, I have been a technology coordinator in a middle school. I teach middle school students – and their teachers – how to use technology, how to use digital tools to become lifelong learners, and, for my colleagues, how to authentically integrate technology into their educational practice.

I’m also a mom. I have two adult daughters. One is an assistant English professor at a community college, and the other is pursuing rabbinical studies. Both are married. I no longer am; my husband and I ended our marriage after thirty years. In many ways, becoming a truly empty nester has opened considerable doors for me as I was able to take the energy that I once put into a fragile marriage and focus my attentions elsewhere.

Last year I began a masters degree program in professional Jewish studies with an additional certification in Israel education. As a Jewish American who values pluralism, I struggle daily with issues surrounding Israel. Can I continue to love a country that marginalizes women and non-Jews? It’s an ongoing dilemma for me.

Quite fittingly, I heard about World Pulse via Twitter. I was intrigued by the organization, and loved that it was dedicated to empowering women and helping them find their voices. Some of the personal narratives that I read are incredibly moving and reading them reminds me how blessed my students and I are.

Although I am in my mid-fifties, I feel as if my journey still has a great deal further to go. I am committed to teaching my students to use technology to learn about the world and to contribute to the world, whether it’s by networking with other students, creating content for the Internet or learning how to be content curators. As a longtime teacher, I never learn anything without thinking about how I can use my newfound knowledge to teach others. The skills that Voices of Our Future emphasizes are ones that I have always endeavored to instill in my students: to be a voice, to give a voice, and to listen to the voices of others.

Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision

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Cindy Coles
Sep 22, 2011
Sep 22, 2011

It must be very exciting to be on the forefront of technology, especially in the domain of education.

I'm sure your journey will be an interesting one!

Sep 24, 2011
Sep 24, 2011

Warm greetings!

Marriage can be a secure foundation from which we engage the world more deeply, or it can be the drain that prevents us from living an aspirational life. I love what you said here, that you were able to take "the energy that I once put into a fragile marriage and focus my attentions elsewhere" and how that opened all sorts of unexpected doors for you.

I wish you the best as you move forward teaching what you know, while also being a student of life - hungry to listen & learn even more. Beautiful!

Peace, Ayesha