Day 128 (of 184) power of a PLN
I recall stories about principals feeling like they were all alone in their schools. In fact, that was one of my fears when I left the safety of an ‘administrative team’ to become a single-building principal.
I needn’t have worried. Thanks to technology.
Today I used twitter to touch base with a tech idol of mine (@lorfehr) for a couple of questions that have been bugging me and of which I needed an unbiased perspective to help me refocus. During a sidebar conversation we talked about the power of twitter and my comment was that there has been no better tool to put like-minded educators in touch with each other. And I only imagine what educators in my dad’s era woulda done if they had a PLN the likes of which only twitter can provide! My favourite being that an educator like me in rural BC can take part in a chat with educators across the continent (and sometimes even the world) with one of my personal favourites being Wednesday nights #arkedchat – must be the accent!
When I needed to ‘talk’ with my central staff and other local experts I like the three pronged attack: email when the info/question is not urgent – such as a thinking piece I did regarding an upcoming camp that one of my teachers may be interested in. Text when I need to share something (such as a query about next weeks board meeting) but the response can be asynchronous. Or even the good old telephone (a couple of secret reasons today!) when inflection is as important as word choice – especially when students are changing learning environments!
But essentially I can’t imagine a time I could ever feel alone (barring a power failure perhaps) where I am alone. Whether I have a basketball or football question, or need some grounding on an anxiety intervention or just need to be revitalized with some “shop talk” my PLN provides an amazing variety of support.
When people ask why I tweet, I can’t help but wonder why they don’t. When asked about my blogging (and I admit the one-a-day blog is very tough – but I’ve got ideas for next year) it has been invaluable as a reflection tool that enables me to take some time and reflect in the connections I have made and continue to make each and every day. When asked about e role of technology, I can’t state the importance and necessity of mobility enough. And best of all, when I am asked a question, I’m not a principal alone on my office – I am an educator with e power of a Professional Learning Community on which the sun never sets – and continues together bigger and better.