As a teacher that chooses to work outside the system, to hopefully improve the system, I am used to teachers and administrators looking at me funny.
But do you know every time I connect online, I am accepted as an educator trying to improve. I have re-discovered a love for professional development. In a world of ever moving information, it is nice to see what others are excited about. It is also nice to see that others are approaching education in ways that are similar to mine or radically different than mine. And above all, it is great to hear from people who are actually practicing these ideas & gain ways to improve my practice.
I know that some teachers are resistant to technology - I have seen it first hand and I find it scary.
I know some teachers are resistant to inclusion - I have seen it first hand and in some cases, there is knowledge missing.
I know some administrators that don't encourage development in their teachers, they emphasize their building as a survival zone , not a learning and growth zone.
For all of these students in these environments, my goal is to reach your adults and I think online conferences and an online presence is a great way to start. There is so much negativity in the system, connecting to a world wide "support" network is a great way to begin to rejuvenate teaching practice. Even those unsure of the possibilities of the online support/learning network, you can lurk & learn!
This past weekend, I met so many different educators from around the world - UK, Croatia, Greece and more, as well as learning from people all over the world trying to make education work for the students. That are overcoming that negativity and taking education into their own hands.
I used to plan to save up for one PD event a year - and this year I attended ISTE in Atlanta, but now I have even more options and I don't have to be limited to one event.
I know it is summer - use this time to improve your practice, reflect on your practice and maybe even try something new while you feel you have the time and energy to do it. It can be invigorating learning from others, exciting to get new followers who feel you have something to share and grounding to know that you are taking some control over your practice.
Check out a discussion on Twitter (TweetDeck can help keep it all organized):
OR even just check out an area of interest:
Check out an educonference online - no cost, and you only attend the ones you want - EVEN better: go back and check out archives of other conferences help this year and learn at your own convenience! Check out www.learningrevolution.com!
Maybe you just want to see ideas from educators directly? Check out my page to see some of the cool educators I follow on Twitter and why...
Start small, make a connection, try something new and impact your students.
Thank you to all the inspiring educators at #RSCON5 for your encouragement, advice and knowledge!