Cheering Loudly

Today, I am talking, sharing, pulling my hair out, developing a headache, laughing, connecting, and learning with great people in my board about Office 365 and its potential to change the way teachers operate within the classroom and interact with fellow colleagues. 

 The blog feature is pretty cool. Its secure to our board, which is nice to those of us still rooted in the realm of “who wants to read about what I am doing in the classroom” and “am I egocentric for assuming you want to know what I am doing in my classroom?” As I struggle to move beyond these thoughts and get on board with online sharing, my common sense does says, this is a pretty cool space to share with teachers.  Instantly, I can share. You can comment. We can talk. And, thus, Personal Learning Networks (PLN) begin to develop. 

My PLP is growing all of the time. What I think may be behind its growth is the validation and affirmation of my work. WAIT! I am not tooting my own horn. However, a quote from Norman Shidle does comes to mind: “A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others.”

Be patient with me as I muck through this thought: I share my work on my 365 blog. I accept that it is “okay stuff,” yet chances are likely someone else is doing it better and may take the opportunity to tell me about it on my blog. Still, I need to find the strength and discipline to believe in my work and cheer for that other person. When I do, I think we become a team! #AMAZING! We get better together! Our PLN grows. We reach other teachers. We spread our knowledge. Students learn.

Holy cow, a lightbulb has gone off. Its about affirming, validating, supporting, and encouraging for the work of our colleagues.

Out of nowhere, someone started cheering loudly for my work and the learning in my classroom. I may or may not have smiled, blushed, stood a little taller, and been motivated to do more in the classroom. LOL – trust me when I say, what I was sharing was not rocket science! It did boost my confidence though to share more online. Then that affirmation piece happened to me again today. I was humbled, yet inspired to keep posting, contributing, validating my work and that of others because of the words of a stranger. A teacher approached me (someone I now follow on 365  and hope to work with  a lot more in my career).  He said to me:

“When I first started teaching a friend and I came across a concept that was new to many. We suggested to our staff that email was going to take over the world. People laughed. Left feeling uncertain, he said, someone with many years teaching experience came up to him and said with conviction, “you are on the right track kiddo.” Today that colleague said to me, ” I am sharing that wisdom with you.” He said, “You are on the right track kiddo.” I can’t tell you how that comment touched me. I will hold onto it forever. It has fuelled me in many ways starting with the simple but genuine act of giving back to my online community.  Here is to sharing and cheering about what is happening in our LDCSB classrooms.​

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Taking the leap

I read these inspiring words from a Fresh Minds Matter photo. It speaks to how I am feeling right now as I write my first ever blog post! 🙂 “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must but take the step.” (Gemmastone.org)

I am taking the step, it feels more like a leap. Correction, it feels like I am flying without a safety net. Whose bright idea was this?  I am putting myself out there for friends and strangers around the world to get to know me, judge me, like me, agree or disagree with me, teach me, scare me, and push me. As Brene Brown would say, Wow the gremlins are loud…

Who is going to read your blog?

What do you have to say that is interesting?

What kind of contributions can you make to the world of education?

What if you are too vulnerable and your posts get stomped on?

Stranger Danger!

I will spare you from anymore negative thoughts, but you get the point… I guess anything new is scary, but couple those feelings with my posts being a reflection of who I am, its enough to make you hit Cancel Post.

Exploring with blogging adds another layer to my understanding and knowledge with and of technology. I know okay – some of you have been at this for years! I am a late bloomer. Isn’t it better late than never though? If I told you where my experience with technology was about 8 months ago, I like to think you’d be cheering that I have come as far as I have.

#Serendipity, #blessed, #thankyou to my “tech genius” who gave me the tap on the shoulder and took me under his wing. Initially, I thought “why me?” and responded reluctantly to his invitations to learn. I thought he would bring me on board with this tech stuff and leave me to sink or swim. I don’t like failure. With his perseverance, my walls starting coming down and the journey to get here, to blogging became less about learning the ins and outs of technology and more about developing friendships with people who share similar teaching pedagogies. These people have helped me get to a place where I think I am ready to give back, to start contributing to the online world of learning.  A secondary outcome became classroom skyping, kinderchat# on twitter, face timing teachers from around Canada, smart albums, technology conferences. The “how tos of it all.” Pleasantly surprised, I was getting more than I ever imagined or expected – ways to become a better teacher by bringing learning to life, and friends, near and far, who make me a better person.

As a side note, I am hoping with #etmooc that I can start to give back to my ‘tech genius’ and my online community and the communities in which I interact on a daily basis. I am a quiet learner. I am listener, but when I have something to say, you’ll hear about it, loud and passionately.

🙂

I did it… now do I take the plunge and click Publish post?  Keep in mind swiftyspeaks: if this doesn’t go well, I never have to do it again 🙂

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