Updated: Aug 21, 2018
This past week has been one of huge growth and opportunity in my world. Multiple interviews took place as well as several very important conversations that I feel are a step in the right direction for my future endeavors. Throughout this past week, (my first week of self employment) I have had very few thoughts or worries of whether or not this move was the right choice for me. I say very few, because believe me there were moments of self doubt and I know that it won't be the last time. I was very surprised at all the of the opportunities that were presented to me however, and I'm riding that optimistic roller coaster until the very end!
We as educators, and those that have been in the education field for the past few years, for me personally I'm focusing on the past three years in particular, have seen a great number of chances and trend shifts. This is not something new, its been happening for years, well before my awareness and observation of things at this new level happening. It's just the time in my own journey that I've really started to take notice of the entrepreneurial side that educators these days are starting to really develop and hone in on in part (my opinion) to the popularity of social media connections through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, podcasts, etc.
So many in the education field are doing absolutely AMAZING things and sharing these things with others through the social media platforms we all use on a daily basis, but so many are not. Why you ask? I find that for the non, or less connected educator, it stems from a place of unknown. Teachers who are not connected through twitter, facebook, voxer, or any of these other very popular platforms, are simply missing out on so many valuable experiences. They need to be enlighted on the power these tools can provide, and given a chance to slowly ease these tools into their daily / weekly routines.
Why is this the topic of my blog? Well there are several things that come to my mind when I consider the "state of education" these days, and I believe that this idea ties right into it.
At this point in time, I am in a place where money is necessary, and I will be taking on a few roles (if offered) that might not be where I see myself in a year or two which is OK! I have thought long and hard about the response I would provide if I am asked to take on these roles, and I've gone back and forth selfishly, but then realized that whatever opportunities do come my way, I am being trusted with the opportunity because they have faith in me that I can do it. Each opportunity that I do take on will be a way to promote my mission and goals which is that connectedness. I want to share to the world how I feel about the importance of social media in an educators (and students) life, and how the relationships built in a safe and professional minded setting can have a huge impact on the lives of those involved.
Long terms goals and aspirations, I have many, but for now, today I have two important things that I'd like you to consider, and find a way to share these messages with those that you interact with this week.
1) Educators do not realize the potential they have to change the lives of others by simply sharing their day to day experiences. I struggle with this on a weekly basis, especially as of late, now that I have more time to devote to being a conduit of information. I find myself in a place of doubt, wondering if what I have to share really would benefit others, or if they already know what it is that I'm trying to share, and have excelled past the point that I have in whatever concept or tool it might be. Though I would not trade my personal learning family for anything, it does put you in a situation where you can feel a little overwhelmed by the greatness of those around you. This could be detailed in another blog, but the jist of it is, sometimes comparison can be our worst enemy. It is important that we remember number 2 (see below) no matter what we do, where we are on our own journeys, we have to remember that we all bring unique perspectives to each and every situation that we are in. Each individual persons skills or qualifications, or even areas of expertise, no matter how similar they might look on paper, will always be different because of the paths that we have gone down to get to this current point in our lives. This (another blog topic) is why it becomes so frustrating when people say "I am" or "they are" JUST A TEACHER! (but moving on ....)
2) We are valuable assets to our personal and professional learning networks (no matter how big or small), and what we do and have to say IS IMPORTANT!
It's time that more educators jump on the connected educator bandwagon. I always get very excited when I think about the impact that decision had on my life, to get on twitter, and how I will never regret the decision. Point 1 shared the insecurities and the doubt that I face, and you probably face as well in day to day life, we all do! It is important to move past those feelings and insecurities and realize that there will always be at least 1 person (often times many more) that have never heard the information you are choosing to share, and even if they have, remember that we all come from different places. Just because, for example, you are sharing how to use Flipgrid in the classroom, the way you do it, and the way someone else has done it, could be from very different places, thus providing you both the opportunity to learn other perspectives, and take what worked for you both into account in the future. We are all brought to this field for a reason, because we love to learn and teach. When you speak with confidence and from a place of experience, people will listen, and you will feel amazing for taking such a leap! I know it is hard to talk in front of peers, and people that are our age, but trust me, once you've done it a few times, and get that rush and excited feeling that they ARE LISTENING to you, it is the most empowering feeling that I've ever experienced! Give it a shot!
But where do I begin?
Yet again, another blog topic..... realistically I could write a book on this idea, but .....
How do you get the opportunity to share out those ideas and experiences that you've had, and start to get that "presenters high!" ..... find local conferences, edcamps, online conferences and connectivity platforms, the options are really endless!
Check out a few opportunities coming your way this summer, great options to ease yourself into these apps and get a first hand experience on how they can be used to better yourself, and your practice!
Virtual Opportunities (click titles learn more!)
EdChange Global - July 20 - 21st, tools used (pick the one(s) you feel most comfortable with!)
twitter chat, video chat (zoom calls), voxer groups, flipgrid
Face to Face Opportunities (coming soon!)
(I'll be back with face to face opportunities) :)