Twitter. Hah. Justin Bieber is all I could think of. Who wants to know about him or the Kardashians? I don't have time for this. Our principal, Brian Kaye, encouraged us in August to join before the 2011-2012 school year started. I did, because I (usually) do as I'm told. Used it for the opening-day activities, then stopped.
Started up again in February of 2012.
I don't know why.
I'm so very glad I did.
Since I started creating a PLN...
* I have been challenged.
* I have become more reflective.
* I have been inspired.
* I have had conversations with educators from around the globe.
* I have read more professional literature than ever before.
* I have fallen back in love with photography.
* I found out about free professional development edcamps & attended on a Saturday in August.
* I began a blog and use it to reflect, and share.
* My classroom is transparent.
* My students now have one day a week to learn whatever they want to learn.
* We've Skyped with and learned from four classes this year.
* Participating in the Global Read Aloud, we shared ideas on a Weebly with students from Canada.
* We are a connected classroom, sharing our blog posts through #comments4kids.
* Our classes now have a student station instead of a teacher desk.
* My teaching has transformed... and I hope to keep growing professionally.
Questions I still ponder...
* Why are the number of followers and people I'm following significant? Or are they? Isn't it the connections you make that count? Isn't it the things you learn from others that count? Isn't it the conversation that counts?? I'm currently following __ and have __ followers. Really?! Does it matter?
* What will be the next big shift I make in my teaching that comes from these connections? This scares me, intrigues me, and makes me anxious and excited all at the same time!
* Who will be the next teacher that inspires me? I have a few that I thanked personally today on Twitter, because I truly think of them as mentors in my life. Why do I feel like I know them? Why can't they come work with me?
* How much more learning can I take? Every day I'm bombarded with blogs to read, statistics to absorb, comments to share, books to devour, conversations in which to partake... When will I learn the balance so I don't feel so overwhelmed with this constant flow of information? How can I learn to not feel bad if I don't read someone's post or comment on his or her question?
* How can I get more teachers at my school on Twitter? How can I show them the value I have gotten out of it? How can I help them see that learning from more people than the 5 they work with everyday is so valuable? Is it okay if I can't do this? Is it okay with ME?
I truly love my life. No, not as a result of Twitter... as a result of people. My husband is the epitome of enjoying the heck out of little things and showing me the value of time. My seventh graders make me laugh every day, and give me multiple reasons to smile. My PLN is the other huge positive force in my life. They challenge me, encourage me, and strengthen me. This is just after 11 months on Twitter... What does the next year hold in store?