1. Kelli Holden

    This year I have made more connections with staff throughout our division than ever before through Twitter – and am very fortunate to count Jennifer Hollman among those! Although our classes may seem very different given their urban/rural setting, our students have discovered that their similarities are what is really important. And it is when we get to know who someone is that our humanity shines through. Would these connections have happened without social media? Probably not – and we would all be poorer for it.

  2. I’m glad you shared the example about Elisa. When I wrote that article I hadn’t yet met her and she is currently my favorite example, and Surrey as a whole, as a large district attempting to create an innovative, caring community. I’m sure other large districts would suggest they are doing the same but from the outside, we don’t know that. In some ways you might say that connecting, trust and community doesn’t need to be happening in public spaces but with larger districts, the public discourse is even more important since it sends a strong message not just to the global community but more importantly to those within that organization that the work of schools and teachers is good enough to be shared with the world.

    Having talked with Elisa, she’ll be honest and tell you about her frustrations in not moving even faster and not having more people connected but that’s the exact same conversation you’ll have with every caring leader in education.

    I’ve not read much of your blog but I’d say this is one of the best posts I’ve stumbled across lately.

    • George

      Thanks Dean. Elisa has been a great example and watching Surrey connect with one another has brought a real “small school” feel to a huge setting. I wonder if you followed their work over years if they would be the example of the big district making a positive change!

  3. Once again, you nail it, George. After reading your post, it totally confirmed our (my) efforts here to get people connecting around our Community schools initiative, more and more through social media. Specifically (but not exclusively) we’ve been ‘feeding’ our #ECNB hashtag on Twitter, where teachers, principals, community school agents and others like me (working at DoE) are sharing successes, challenges and ideas.

    More than the impact of a PDF attachment to a widely-distributed one-way email, I am witnessing more and more this sense (or need) to connect, to evade professional isolation and to have, heck, the ‘world’ (and the local community) appreciate all the cool stuff motivated kids are doing and learning and how proud and engaged their teachers are guiding them. Example: https://twitter.com/ECVStudioPURE/status/294995705246920704

    Learning is conversation, as Harold Jarche wrote 7 years ago.

    Keep inspiring us!

  4. George, I feel very honoured to be mentioned in your post. We share similar beliefs about the importance of social media as a way to connect and share best practice. I am also amazed by Dean’s comment as well. But then, when I think of it, you two, along with Alec, Neil, Chris K, Chris W, and many others have really influenced my leadership practice. Thank you, to you both, and the many others who have shaped my practice. This has been such a fabulous learning journey.

  5. I feel the support in Surrey! Our big district is starting to feel like a much smaller community of learners who you can reach out to if you have a question or an idea to innovate. Access to each others talents moves our community forward to find creative ways to address the challenges we face & share the awesomeness that is happening in our district & in our profession. Truly inspiring! Relationships are the foundation to any movement. Sharing best practice is learning whether you are in a huge district like ours or in a small isolated community. We all have something to offer that others can learn from. What is obvious to us can be amazing to others! Be brave… share… learn… & be awesome!

    I pledge to find the time to be awesome! Great post George!


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