through social media connections.
This weekend I had the honor of hosting our CEduAD (connected educator appreciation day) connected educator monthly meet-up (#CEMM). This month we spotlighted the #passthescopeedu organizers and their goal to "ignite a passion for learning," one periscope broadcast at a time.
This was an incredible hour of inspiring discussion about the power that connection has played in the lives of the incredible Valerie Lewis and some of the #PassTheScopeEdu organizers, Margret, Brian, and Sarah.
Many times throughout the conversation the words authenticity, vulnerability and connection were spoken. I loved this months discussion because of the simplicity of the message that was shared. It focused on the genuine need of all humans, to find connections with others.
Because I was tweeting out the conversation throughout the event, I was unable to share my own thoughts in the zoom video chat, but throughout the entire hour I felt empowered and reinvigorated by the amazing stories shared by each of the panelist. They spoke of the power that connections have played in their own lives, but the conversations shared around ways that they encourage others to become connected through social media tools like Periscope** had even more of an impact. Three times within the hour I had chills down my spine because of the authentic generosity of the group as evidenced by their stories about making connections with others. Margret Atkinson talked about her approach to encourage others to join in and share their own stories during the monthly #PassTheScopeEdu community.
"You never know what your actions are going to do for someone else!" "You help other people get over the fear by addressing what is happening, and affirming them. She reminds them "You have a story to tell.. people will never know what you have to say unless you say it!"- Margret Atkinson
Valerie Lewis (@iamvlewis) followed up that statement with the following;
We all have that natural feeling of wanted to be affirmed, we want to feel like someone is seeking us out. It’s a natural feeling. The benefits of having a human connection makes you feel good. It’s a must and a necessity. - Valerie Lewis
and later, Brian gave us all "the feels" as he shared this with the group...
"#livestreaming forced me to be aware of who I am " If people don't like what you have to say, then that is their problem.. we have a voice and we should amplify it, it's our responsibility." "If you've reached one person, then you've met your purpose in sharing.. REGRET DOES NOT give you an answer! you're constantly looking for an answer and you won't get that from regret! - Brian R. Smith
Listening to Brian, Valerie and Margret talk about the concept of connectivity in this way was an amazing reminder of why they do what they do, and why I too have such a passion for creating opportunities for educators and students to connect with one another. There was talk of affirmation (as mentioned above) and the real need for human connection, I believe it was Valerie who mentioned that we as humans are "wired" to yearn for connections with others.
"Connection and vulnerability are our constant reminders that we are all here for a reason. Our time here is short but our impacts are great." - Melissa W. Meyer
The idea was shared that live streaming through applications such as Periscope**, takes vulnerability at the highest level. Broadcasters put themselves in front of a camera, in a live setting, which doesn't allow for editing or "redoes," during the live broadcast. The inability to edit during the live broadcast allows everyone to see the real, true individual in front of the camera. To some, this can be quite intimidating, but it can also be quite powerful, showing your true self, no acts, no gimmicks, to viewers who want to share their story but need a little motivation.
Another point was made regarding the power that this sort of vulnerability can have on students in our classrooms. It is important that educators model how they handle situations (of vulnerability), and more importantly set an example for students showcasing the value of sharing their true authentic selves.
As an introvert, "I need to be able to share my story, I need to be able to share my ideas and it allows me to breathe!" continuing to hold it in frustrates me -- can you relate? - Brian R. Smith
If adults are experiencing that frustration when there is no outlet for sharing their story, imagine how our students might feel when they aren't given the proper outlets and opportunities in school to be able to share their true feelings? This was a great reminder of the power that trust and relationships can have in our lives.
As the school year comes to an end, remember this, and continue to work on building relationships with others around you, especially those students that you haven't quite made a strong connection with this far in the school year. Let that be your challenge, to find a way to provide them with an outlet no only to share their own stories but to be able to form positive connections with others.
To read some of the wonderful ideas shared during the April CEMM event, view my Twitter collection shared here.
The idea of being a connected educator can be frightening and intimidating, but as you slowly start to ease into it, with support and encouragement from others who have also experienced those feelings in their journey, you will too will start to have these same feelings expressed during the CEMM / CEduAD discussion.
Maybe you feel like you're starting to become complacent in your career as an educator, and you're in search of a community to empower you to "keep at it". You long for support and motivation along your journey as a new teacher, or maybe you find yourself in this position as a veteran educator.
Maybe you are on a campus of other educators who are happy with where they are, but you on the other hand feel like you are made to do more? I know this feeling all too well, that was me 4 short years ago..
Let me be the guide that will help you get started, or further develop your story as a #connectededucator.
I am a member of #CEduAD and the #passthescopeedu communities as well as a few others (#ECGlobal and #40CFpln) which empower and inspire educators to make global connections. I have experienced that feeling of vulnerability and fear. I remember the opportunity that I've been granted as a #connectededucator to be able to use my story to empower others and push past those feelings and insecurities.
If you are looking for a way to get started on your journey, I've got just the solution you've been looking for! My Social Media Connection course releases THIS WEEK and I'd love to see you there!
Throughout the 5 week course, you will learn the basics of a variety of social media tools that will support you along your connectivity journey including Periscope mentioned by the #passthescopeedu community.
At the end of the course, you will feel empowered to connect with other like-minded individuals through these tools.
"Love and connection, the universal language that breaks all barriers and lasts for all of time. Connection gives us a depth we never knew existed until we finally feel it within our souls. Connection gives us healing of our past hurts and demons. Connection gives us true friendship unlike any other we have tasted." - Melissa W. Meyer
There has never been a better time to start building your support network than right now. It is your turn to take learning into your own hands and make the impact that you’ve been hoping for in the education world.
** Periscope is a live broadcasting application which allows individuals to speak their mind and share their ideas through live video streaming. The broadcaster now has the opportunity to go live on video, or only broadcast their audio to viewers / listeners, while others are able to comment on the thoughts being shared.
Meyer, Melissa W. (2017, July 1). The Power of Vulnerability and Authentic Connection
[Blog Post] Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-power-of-vulnerabilit_n_10184732