Day 81 (of 184) connections
Throughout the day, I was reminded about how important relationships and key-connections can be.
Today was started with a School District Principal/Vice Principal meeting. It was engaging because of the inter-activity time that we had. We had opportunities to connect with each other and talk about our changing school mission/vision statements.
Then we got to work with our inquiry groups (we have broken some key questions into small groups so we can ‘jigsaw learn’) and share what we have found so far. It can be tough for us all to get together, so having a purpose allowed for some great discussions and connecting that we then got to share out.
But best of all was one of our ‘new-to-district’ principals (as I have been part of SD83 for a year + I now lose the ‘new guy’ title). Val had us do a game. The connection I had was that I worked with the superintendent who she worked with last year. A quick email later, and I had some good ‘inside gossip’ (polite and appropriate of course) that I could share and tease her with. That helped keep things fun – and focused on relationships.
Tonight I then met up with connection: but a connection that was made in a non-traditional way. I had dinner with a friend I first met online via twitter. Then we met up at an EdCamp. Then we met up at Vancouver Airport as we were leaving Vancouver from separate professional development activities. It was a connection that seems to be important as we keep connecting – so when I had the opportunity to present at a workshop in Kelowna, I was happy that I could meet up with Graham for a chat.
Connections are key to educational success – I say that because my relationship with Val is that I experienced her ‘new to districtisms’ last year and have been happy to see her fit in with our district as well as she has – and she has been great spearheading principal/viceprincipal professional learning throughout the year. Graham has been very inspirational to me as he is a very impressive math teacher, and I have been focused on making math enjoyable for my learners – something I’ve called ‘Recreational Mathematics” – but without connections to the math world like Graham and others via twitter, I would not have the confidence to provide opportunities for my students to study math in non-traditional styles (okay: no problem-focused worksheets).
I am very proud of my Professional Learning Network – it has allowed me some great opportunities to gain confidence to do ‘new things’ and stretch myself as an educator. Sometimes via face to face and at other times asynchronously via twitter and social media. Looking forward to who I connect with at tomorrows BCSSA Chapter Forum on “Innovating in the Thompson-Okanagan”