Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How Did I Get Here?

Finished the dishes. Cleaned up after dinner. Ironed my clothes for tomorrow. Checked my to-do list one more time. Let the dog out. Finished my paperwork for our township basketball league. Since there is nothing else to do, I am now sitting to write.

So, as you can probably tell, I have joined the Compelled Blogging Challenge for a reason: to force myself to get more comfortable with my writing. This is something that has always been a challenge to me. Having the words flow off my hands were never an easy task. So, I am sitting down to write. Forcing myself to try and get comfortable with a process that does not come naturally to me.

I use to have the same feeling about my Professional Growth. When I first started teaching, I was just trying to survive. "Growth" for me was trying to make it from year to year. "Growth" was just trying to save enough worksheets, tests and quizzes in my countless folders to use the following year. Man, did I have it all wrong...

My Professional Growth started to make a big change when I discovered Twitter. I can not begin to explain the impact this has had for me, but of course I will try:
1. I have connected with countless educators that have pushed my thinking in pedagogy and research.
2. I have connected with educational authors that I was able to share my classroom experience with.
3. I have used these connections to be interviewed for an EdWeek blog.
4. Made meeting these connections face to face at an EdCamp so much easier. There was no need for "ice breakers".
5. Provided me with an endless amount of resources to keep challenging the students in my classroom.
6. Have provided me with shoulders to lean on when a lesson or a unit does not go well. I can not thank them enough for that.
7. Twitter, for me, is a great culture of learning. I love the sense of collegiality among the educators that participate in the chats I follow.
8. I am not afraid to try something new because I have had the opportunity to discuss things with a group of people on Twitter before I give the lesson.

Needless to say, I am very happy with my Professional Growth since I joined Twitter. I never thought I would have had the Professional opportunities occur over the last several years before joining Twitter. I am very thankful for the educators that have "paid if forward" by helping me during my teaching journey. I now feel it is my obligation to continue this trend by helping others the same way. It took me a while to figure this out, but I do not really think we grow as educators until we help others grow themselves.





4 comments:

Debbie Campbell said...

Jim,
Good for you for taking on a challenge that doesn't come naturally to you. Writing is risky business for all of us and for sure makes us all feel vulnerable. I am excited to be apart of your tribe and follow you posts and learn along with you!

Debbie

Megan Pankiewicz said...

Hooray for Twitter! I like the list you provide of the ways Twitter has impacted your professional growth; I feel like it might convince a few non-believers to joins us on the dark side. Your writing style is open, honest, and engaging. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Jonathon Wennstrom said...

Jim,

I think you nailed it when you described Twitter as a culture of learning! It is exactly that in a positive and "just do it" environment. Like you I've grown from the connections made and now you are helping others with your own reflections. Keep up the great work!

Jon

Jacie Maslyk said...

Twitter has been a great PD tool for me too! I can't think of a better learner-driven tool to support teachers and school leaders in their professional growth. You have highlighted so many great points as to why educators should get on board.