Standing on the precipice of do I or don’t I, the answer is I do. I do start a blog. Why not? I have often thought about it, but have remained inert. What has changed? Everything. Today when I woke up, as I was baking muffins, laughing with the kids, missing my hubby off on business, thinking about making exams, reading my rss feeds, twittering, and visiting the Powerful Learning Practice (PLP) Ning for the Illinois-Ohio Cohort it hit me–those last three things have become part of my norm, part of my comfortable weekend routine. In spite of my hesitation, awkwardness, uncertainty and complaints of being too busy, somehow while I wasn’t looking I became a 21st century learner.
Transformative professional development through PLP with guidance from fellow learners Will Richardson, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, the Illionois-Ohio Cohort members, and cohort members from around the globe has energized my thinking, teaching, learning, and life. Below is my discussion post to the PLP Ning from this morning entitled, “The Curious Case of Outhouses, Toilets, and PLP”:
Tonya Heron’s great post about PLNs and morale (check it out and respond) has really inspired me to think about my personal growth and all of the changes going on in my professional life. In my district,FHSD, we are so fortunate with what we have at our disposal. Nonetheless, PLP has helped me see that perhaps the greatest resource is not from the top down, and the realities of the district, financial, technological or otherwise, good or bad, are neither promise nor hindrance to each teacher’s personal growth. If we accept that this is a personal journey, we have to give ourselves permission to start at our own personal square one. What is not acceptable is to remain inert. Once I quit complaining that it is all so overwhelming I found a lot more energy to use for my own growth. Yes, I sometimes feel like a loser on twitter when I ask questions and have no reply, or when I reply to a tweet and get a ping back that seems only to clarify my own idiocy, but I am in the game, I am on the path, I am enjoying the journey.
Doc Searls’ blog post entitled Screw popularity. Just make yourself useful. was a game changer for me. You mean I can be the useful one? I can give ideas, tips, help? I can add to the important discourse about learning, teaching, growing, change? Wow! I have now changed my thinking from being a waiter, waiting for someone to tell me how it works, what to do, what tools are needed, to being a helper, a friend to fellow learners, a sharer, an encourager. To refer to Sheryl’s response to my New Years Resolution thread on the main page of our Ning, I am now the difference, I am not waiting for it. My how my tweets have evolved. My how my sleep has devolved. But it is okay. My eyes are open, my spirit is lifted, my concern for seeming dumbish is dwindling, and not one ounce of this came from a staff meeting in the media center at 2:15. How freaking cool is that?
So, you’re wondering about the curious discussion title? Well, I have been trying desperately to wrap my mind around the changes in my teaching life and to process the constant feeling of being too busy. As in, I am too busy to learn this, too busy to look into that (insert your terms: rss, skype, twitter, ning). The other day I burst out laughing. Would I ever have said, “I am too busy to figure out that strange new indoor commode? I am more comfortable with the awesome outhouse?”
It may be indelicate, it may not be prim, but perhaps it is time to take our fears and excuses and…flush.
So that is it, my first blog post. Glad I did it. Glad I am in the game. Glad I have moved from reluctant teacher to eager learner. Grateful to have you on my path…