Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Connected Educators

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, and acceptable and perfect.”

How many times do we hear (or catch ourselves saying) “Oh no, it’s Monday!” or “I can’t wait for Friday!”?  As educators, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the multitude of daily tasks and classroom routines that have become a habit instead of a joy.  Our students often pick up on that and adopt the same attitude.  Weekends and holiday breaks are a welcome and refreshing time of rest, but teachers and administrators need a way to recharge and renew ourselves in addition to that rest.

While some may find new learning and motivation from one of the many professional books available today, nothing can compare to the personal relationships we build when we connect with other educators.  The interaction and feedback we receive is invaluable for personal and professional growth.

Connecting with others in our profession can happen in many ways.  The relationships we build with our coworkers is a great place to start, but when we step out of our comfort zone and make connections with others outside our own district is often when we see more growth.  Opportunities like conferences, workshops, and EdCamps are perfect places to make those connections.

If money or time is an issue, then Twitter is a great alternative.  Twitter is a free app and works well with any schedule.  Through Twitter we have the opportunity to connect with coworkers, authors, and other innovative educators from around the world!  Just by following other educators, anyone can learn about #STEM activities, #coding, #makerspaces, and #literacy just to name a few.  Many educators share resources on a regular basis. 

Responding to questions and others’ posts on Twitter encourages reflection on our own teaching and learning.  In the words of Todd Whitaker, “A teacher never stops learning, and a learner never stops teaching.”  As educators, we owe it to ourselves and our students to be the Lead Learner in our own classrooms or buildings.

Todd Whitaker also said, “we define connected educators simply as ones who are actively and constantly seeking new opportunities and resources to grow as professionals.”

How are you going to connect, recharge and renew?



Saturday, January 7, 2017

My #Oneword2017 REACH

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman
My #oneword for 2017 is REACH; My reminder to seek and connect with people and things that will make me stronger.  My professional goal this school year has been to be more reflective in my teaching.  I have already begun to reach into myself by reflecting and journaling about my effectiveness in the classroom.  These reflections provide me valuable information that guide my daily decision making in the classroom as I strive to become a better teacher.

I will continue to reach out to other educators on my campus and on Twitter to expand my Professional Learning Network (PLN).  Connecting with other educators on Twitter this past year has been food for my soul.  The exchange of thoughts and ideas has been very refreshing.  I now have a hunger and an enthusiasm for personal learning and growth that I have not had in many years!  My list of books to be read has grown tremendously and I now participate in several weekly Twitter chats.

The encouragement I have received has made me reach beyond my comfort zone where real learning occurs!  Twitter used to be outside my comfort zone and because I chose to go there (with a little push from a friend), I am finding it a little easier to try even more new things and encourage others to join me.  This blog is a big step outside my comfort zone, but it is one way I hope to be an encouragement to others as so many have been for me.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 KVJ

What is within your reach?