A “hybrid” educator identifies with many communities and networks. Hybrid educators leverage and exchange information across networks to design, create solutions and innovations that build effective learning environments and organizations. Having personnel that possess these overlapping professional networks will equip schools and organizations with the expertise needed to effectively bring schools into the digital age.
Having worked as a teacher and researcher, I have applied design principles, theories and practices from both communities of practice to form a new educational professional identity that has enabled me to understand and communicate my intentions and professional vision.
The pace of our world is fast. Relationships, communities and knowledge are in constant flux. As educators, we have struggled to understand our role because so much of our identity was attached to knowledge and socializing youth into a particular knowledge-based community. Yet, this knowledge is constantly changing.
To succeed, educators must not attach to the knowledge, but rather, focus on a shared goal: to develop, design and support as many opportunities as possible that promote youth in being and becoming active, engaged, kind people who have a purpose and sense of belonging within society.
We cannot support our youth and serve as role-models if we do not work as a flexible, learning community that is open to new ideas and partnerships, working in collaboration, and as a collective.
Operating within a dynamic system requires that individuals are adaptive to new situations. Education is a multifaceted and interdisciplinary profession. Success in this field requires that individuals and school organizations are able to move across many different roles and pool organizational resources and talents from a variety of sources. Effective educational learning communities draw on the fields of research, design and pedagogy to create and implement effective learning environments.
The hybrid educator identity has allowed me to understand situations from many different perspectives and professional lenses and to be able to shape-shift and adapt according to the needs of a particular community or organization by leveraging diverse knowledge networks, and synthesizing these networks with prior knowledge and understandings. Synthesizing prior knowledge with new understandings helps individuals and organizations build new knowledge and solutions.