A firewall keeps things out. In the classroom teachers have always kept somethings out, a position unique to the teacher alone. Students and families to some extend can only respond to the firewall of the classroom.
So as an educator, what does your personal firewall keep out?

Your Personal Firewall

Some teachers cherish the cover, the mystery, of what happens behind a closed door. While other teachers invite families in physically and digitally.

There are teachers who maintain a rigid grading protocol; not deviating from published timelines. Some teachers maintain open and flexible grading structures which feature the ability to resubmit work and complete work after the due date.

In a time when technology is making classrooms increasingly transparent, how do teachers with extensive firewalls cope? In the transition from a purely physical classroom to a more open, extended access classroom some teachers are just extending their personal firewall to the online classroom.

Trust may be absent. Does the teacher need to work on trusting students, families, him/herself? Administrators and/or co-workers can help create a safe environment where failing forward is prized. Since using online platforms includes a built in audience, this is mandatory background work if you expect teachers to put themselves ( and their classwork) out there.

Control may be an issue. Does the teacher need to refocus classroom goals on big ideas, overarching themes, and not fall into recording and reporting the minutia? Administrators and peers can help by sharing a different grading philosophy and the mechanics of how that can work. And how that might release them from some unnecessary work!

So as an educator, what does your personal firewall keep out?

If you have dismantled your personal firewall, how can you help other teachers to do the same?

Students should not find themselves behind a firewall created by a teacher. Students should have the benefit of all the technology which can help them learn.
That expectation must be set, and sometimes reinforced, by school Administrators. But teachers can also support fellow educators who worry about displaying their lack of understanding when their career has been built on expertise.
Those of us who can should model failing forward daily.
I know I do my part.