As I reflect on my continuous evolution as an educational leader I am constantly amazed at how things have changed over the course of three years. It was in March of 2009 that I decided to give this social networking tool Twitter a try. At the time I was skeptical about whether my time was going to be well spent posting updates in 140 characters and whether or not people would actually care or be interested in what I was doing. Obviously my perception of Twitter early on was completely wrong as it has radically molded me into the leader and educator that I am today.
After nearly a year of using Twitter from an educational perspective I had begun to find and read blogs on a daily basis around February 2010. I often marveled at the creative thought and passion that so many educators put into their writing. Envious would be a more appropriate word. As I became active on Twitter members of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) began to suggest that I start a blog. Well let me be the first one to tell you that I am NOT a writer and always struggled with expressing my thoughts in words. My mind was set in concrete that I would NEVER under any circumstances begin to blog (wait, I said the same thing about joining Facebook up until 2010).
So what changed? The most important factor that influenced me to begin a blog was my PLN. Had it not been the modeling by and support of so many unbelievable educators I would NEVER, and I mean NEVER, started blogging. The support I received gave me the courage to share my thoughts, experiences, and ideas with others who have a stake in the noblest profession. My reflections led to a belief that I actually had useful information to share that might be utilized to help other educators grow, think, take-risks, and eventually share their success stories.
I absolutely relish the fact that I now utilize my blog as a vehicle to share the successes of my students and staff. Sharing is the key word here. The concept of a PLN and immersion in the educational world of Web 2.0 has shown me the unselfish nature of educators as they constantly strive to help each other day in day out. Why do we do this? The answer is simple, we want to ensure that students succeed! No one person or group has all of the answers. Each and every educator has something to share. Blogs now provide a valuable set of services to educators in a time when our profession desperately needs it. These include mentoring, professional development, encouragement, ideas to reform the profession, and most importantly inspiration. They also show students, parents, and community members how passionate we are about what we do! For me blogging has also become a portal to discuss strategies and ideas that have not only helped to transform my school, but also my leadership style.
Why do I blog? I do so to give back to those people that have helped me break free from a traditional mindset and hopefully inspire others to do the same. I blog in the hopes of challenging my own thinking in order to continually grow into a transformational leader. Finally, I blog to be transparent. I want to brag about my students and staff while providing examples of innovation. My blog, at times, illustrates that sustainable change can and is occurring in schools. There might not be a better conduit for learning from practitioners or medium for public relations than blogs. If it wasn't for Twitter, my PLN, or the support of my family and NMHS community, this post along with all the others would never have been written. THANK YOU!