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.