Friday, June 17, 2011

The Best Kind of Learning aka Finding our Peeps

This week was the Alabama Education Technology Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. I was really excited to attend and present at this conference as I had not been there for the last several years. I was looking forward to getting to share my presentation "Can We Skip Lunch and Keep Writing? Collaborating in Class and Online." This was also the first conference where my new book would be available. And although both were extremely enjoyable experiences, what I enjoyed most was the opportunity to meet and get to know so many other educators.

As I sat down to sign my first book a thought came to me that I wanted to inscribe in it which was inspired by my friend Nikki Robertson, who was holding that first book out to me. She and I connected first on Twitter  and then met face to face several months ago a EdCamp Bham.

"It's all about learning from one another." 

When I think about the professional journey that I've been on in the last couple of years, I realize that my deepest growth has come from times when I was learning with other educators, like Nikki, that shared a passion for learning to better themselves as educators in order to positively impact student learning.

Sometimes these are formal situations where you are sitting in a workshop or a presentation to learn about a  new tool or strategy that you could use in your class. But more and more often my learning has come from those informal times of just chatting with other educators between sessions, at a TweetUp, or over a meal. When you see the passion in their eyes as they share what they are doing in the classrooms, their success stories, or something that they're contemplating the learning becomes infectious. You want to know more. You ask a lot of questions. You listen. I can hear my students saying, "These are our peeps. They get us." These are people who are actively practicing what they preach. It's not something in theory. They are living it.

Today, my mind is still reeling from the connections that I've made and the new things that I want to try in my classroom, but I find myself missing that constant face to face informal learning that I've had for the last two days. Thankfully for me the learning never has to stop. I've found new people to follow on Twitter. Through some of the sessions, I've found new blogs to read.Because of the age that we live in, we can have that informal constant feeding of infectious passion everyday.

So today, I'm feeling very thankful to all of you who have helped me become the educator that I am today whether you have been with me on my learning journey for a while or you are a new member of my PLN. After all, it's all about learning from one another.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic blog post! You captured my sentiment exactly! I feel so supported and energized by my PLN and I love growing and learning professionally with so many wonderful educators! Thank you for all you do!