Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
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Last week, Kim Moran from Books First in Maine, shared my story about how I fit blogging and tweeting and growing as a professional into my pretty crazy schedule and why for her series Making the Time. It was interesting (and scary) to reflect on how busy my life is but it also made me smile to think about how integral my professional learning network is to my life professionally and personally.
I'm not sure if I met Kim through blogging or Twitter first but I know I really connected with her during Teachers Write. I love her energy and enthusiasm for literacy and am so glad to know her even though I live in Illinois, she lives in Maine, and we've never met in real life. Technology has made this swiftly tilting planet truly feel like a small world. Every day, I find myself thinking about friends I have made all over the world. Sometimes it does make me sad that I have friends who I don't get to see often but then I remind myself that I do still get to connect with them thanks to the technology that helped me find such passionate people in the first place. I do remind myself that I am super lucky that some of those friends are close by and see them more often.
This school year, my focus is sharing what it means to be a connected educator in my school district. Here's how I define a connected educator.
A connected educator...
- has a digital space
- has a way to communicate with students using technology
- has a way to communicate with parents using technology
- has a way to connect with colleagues worldwide
I work in the second largest school district in Illinois and support over fifty schools from preschool through high school. We have over 2,000 teachers and I'm hoping to share the power of Twitter and other tools to connect us and share the knowledge and expertise in my district. I'm so glad that Kim started her series Making the Time because it's great to hear stories of how and why people make the time for developing a professional learning network outside of the walls of their buildings. (I even made stickers to hand out to people who join Twitter!)
Why I make the time boils down to this, which I shared in my Making the Time post, "Yes, it takes time and I put a lot of energy into growing as a professional but I feel more energized than ever to be in education. " When I reread that sentence, it feels true through and through. It's not an exaggeration at all. I'm proud to be in education and work towards continually improving school for students. It's not always easy but having the support of my global colleagues makes all the difference.
I hope you check out my Making the Time post at Kim's blog and check back to see what others have to share about why they make the time. Kim and I would both love to hear from you about why you make the time. Feel free to share your story here or at Kim's blog or to write your own Making the Time post.