Reflecting

I am no stranger to blogging. I’ve had my own personal blog for 5+ years, and have a classroom blog with my partner, but this is the first time I have created a professional blog. I have wanted to blog professionally for some time now, but it’s amazing how one wonders: what I have to say – is it important? With all the amazing blogs out there – is mine relevant? I have learned a lot from my job share partner (@teacherdiana1) and VP (@TiaHenriksen) about taking risks and putting yourself out there. I LOVE the idea of blogging, so why has it taken me so long to create a professional site? It is a complex thing with me – on one hand I love the comfort of security, and in the other I crave the excitement of what has not yet been explored.

I considered myself to be a very “with it” educator – I have always been open to new ideas and I foster positive relationships with both students and parents. Then I heard George Couros (@gcouros) speak at our school during a summer Professional Development Day. Gasp – I don’t have a Twitter account! I was not a stranger to social media, as well as writing my own personal blogs (until my second child was born) and I have been the webmaster for my son’s minor hockey team for the past 3 years. BUT I did not have a Twitter account. I have Facebook, so what’s the difference? Honestly, I could care less what Beyonce has to tweet! Then, as an educator, I got educated. Motivated by George at our summer Pro-D, and the encouragement of my amazing VP, Tia Henrikson, I created a Twitter account. I have not looked back since.

I recently saw a presentation by Bill Ferriter (@plususin) on Engaging the Digital Learner. Although I was bummed not to be able to be a part of the dinner series, I was THRILLED to be able to attend an after-work-session the day before. Bill completely inspired me. Not only is he an eloquent speaker, he is very in touch with 2013 learning. Bill challenged the way we teach – “kids want to learn, but we are a presentation driven space.” I have always been about hands-on learning, but now I have something that resonates with me. Bill spoke about KIVA, a means to give microloans to those in developing countries. I have been familiar with KIVA as my husband and I have been intrigued to contribute in the past. However, Bill opened up many other possibilities for me as an educator – why not incorporate KIVA into the classroom? There is a lot both George and Bill have left me with, as well as Tia. I feel very privileged to be a part of such an amazing group of educators – I feel completely motivated and inspired!

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8 thoughts on “Reflecting

  1. Trish!

    Way to go on a great first professional blog post! I have been so inspired by your willingness to put yourself out there and try new things. It isn’t always easy to reflect on our own practise and try new things. Often we continue to do things we have always done because we think they have “worked” in the past. But, have they? Hmmmmmm….

    I have been so inspired and changed as an educator (and, in many ways, person) since I started using Twitter professionally. It’s through those connections with George and Bill, and, even more importantly each other, that really make the biggest difference in our own learning and, ultimately, the learning of our students.

    Thank you for sharing your professional blog! I would love to read your personal blog as well – if it is public, that is. I had no idea you had a personal blog! Good for you.

    Thanks again for all you do to inspire us all (and I really mean that).

    Tia

  2. Wow Trish! What a fantastic start to your professional blog! I too am intrigued by KIVA and am looking forward to starting an account with our class. You do such amazing hands-on activities with our class in science and math and I am looking forward to learning with you through your professional blog. I have added it to my reader and can’t wait to read more :). Outstanding! I am so excited for you! Hugs, Diana

  3. Trish wrote:

    I LOVE the idea of blogging, so why has it taken me so long to create a professional site? It is a complex thing with me – on one hand I love the comfort of security, and in the other I crave the excitement of what has not yet been explored.

    – – – – – – – – – –
    This is a really cool sentence, Trish.

    It highlights the tension that comes from dipping your toes in any digital waters — whether that’s Twitter or starting (and sharing) your thinking on a blog — simply because you WON’T be “comfortable” in those spaces.

    But you will be challenged — by ideas that you would never have stumbled across, by individuals who don’t always agree with you, by opportunities to join in and to explore and to create that you didn’t even know existed.

    So you have to ask yourself what’s more important/rewarding/exciting: Being comfortable or being challenged.

    For me, the answer has been, “give me the challenge. Comfort gets boring!”

    Hope it’s the same for you. Proud of you for taking the plunge!
    Bill

  4. Trish,
    I think it takes something about which you are passionate for professionals to begin their blogs. You’ve found something you wanted to share (in a big way), and so you began! Congratulations! Yes, it’s a risk, but I think you’ll find it very rewarding. Mine started as a result of “meeting” a Twitter pals from your area – Gallit Zvi, and one from Iowa – Denise Krebs. I wanted to share what I’d learned from them and how it was affecting my classroom. Enjoy the journey of reflection, and be true to yourself!
    Sincerely,
    Joy Kirr

  5. Hey Trish,

    I am reading your blog and eerily sounds like my own start into this world. I didn’t get Twitter at first because I thought very similar to you. Then I jumped in and it was absolutely amazing! Then I started to think about sharing back some of my own thoughts in a much deeper way. The 140 limit to Twitter can be effective in some areas, but as you know, constraining in others. Then I jumped into blogging and it has been the best way to further my learning. I don’t just read other stuff anymore, but now I connect my own learning and go way deeper. Things that I had no clue about a few years ago, I feel like I can talk now about for hours. Connecting learning is so important to going deep. From this experience, I have helped our staff and students really push their own learning, while also giving back to the community.

    I am glad that you have jumped in because now I get the opportunity to learn from you! I will be adding your blog to my reader feed and checking out what you have to share! Thank you for the kind words but ultimately it is you that has jumped in and done the work! It is easy to say “you should” but way more to actually do it. Congratulations and I am glad that you have started to share!

    Sincerely,
    George Couros

  6. I feel very touched with all your supportive comments – I am still working my way around WordPress so thank you for your patience with regards to my delayed response! 😉 There is so much I want to learn and glean from each and every one of you. I am finding that I am really enjoying experimenting with blogging again, as well as using Twitter regularly. I’ve taken a lot of huge steps regarding my growth as a teacher this year – things I have noticed within myself mostly. I’ve always enjoyed trying new things whether it be in regards to travel (I LOVE experiencing cultures very different from my own), foods, routines, or dabbling more in technology. I am very thankful to have such an expert group of educators to help me through things as I continue to grow. I agree with you Bill, being comfortable IS boring – I am very happy with this new and exciting path I am heading down. Wherever it may lead… 🙂

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