1. Patrick Larkin

    Great post George! I think you hit the nail on the head with the idea of many feeling that it is narcissistic to talk about themselves and what they are doing. One of the things that I think is important is the idea that we need to be a community of “connected learners” locally before we can expect staff to start connecting on a large scale outside of their district.

    I am often disappointed in the lack of sharing and connections I see teachers making because I think it is a critical skill that all of our students need to learn. I don’t think we will maximize the potential of our students here without some modeling from the adults in our schools.

    Your work to connect staff in your division with the daily blogs on Parkland School’s 184 Days of Learning is a great way that other districts could get staff comfortable with sharing publicly. (Thanks for sharing this idea with me!)

    I also think Dean’s video from a few years back on the Moral Imperative of sharing is also a good resource http://youtu.be/ELelPZWx7Zs here.

  2. Jacob Wilson

    “Sharing does not make someone narcissistic. If it does, we should stop telling our kindergarten kids to do the same.”

    Boy, does this embody today’s successful teachers. I’ve had many a discussion with fellow teachers about this very topic. We must not see the students with which we interact daily as “my students” but rather the school where we teach as “our students”. This is the kind of thing that makes successful schools. Well worded!

  3. Kirsten Tschofen

    Thanks for the post. Yesterday I was showing some colleagues how to use Twitter, and they expressed doubt that anyone would even want to see what they would share by retweeting! When I started tweeting I also felt like I was being pushy when I put a hashtag onto my tweets. You are absolutely right, we need to create a culture where sharing is expected. And acknowledging and celebrating the people who make the things we share is a big piece of this.

  4. Tania Sheko

    I’ve often thought of my blog as my ‘dirty little secret’. Firstly, it’s not something most of my colleagues know about – how would you share your posts with someone not part of an online network without looking narcissistic? – and secondly, some of my posts express opinions about education I expect would result in mixed reactions amongst staff (and have). So I just don’t talk about it. My PLN is separate from my school colleagues. Isn’t that odd? Before I ‘came out’ with my blog at school, I would want to be convinced that robust debate and diverse opinions would be respected and encouraged.

  5. MrDDon

    Thanks for the kick in the pants. I slowed down in writing because I felt it wasn’t making a difference for the ones I wanted to share my thought and ideas with the most. Their comments were “nice, but we don’t have time to do everything we do now.” We have to take the time. I have learned so much from my personal PLN and enjoy and implement what others have shared with me. When I’m asked about something new in my classroom or some new process I tell them proudly that is is from a “friend of mine from Canada, or Australia or Connecticut or even just a few streets over.” They look at me and I smile and say from their tweets or blogs or website. That’s when they turn away. I do have some colleagues that will share others they are following or reading and we have a great time discussing what we have found. But those moments should be in larger settings, I.e. faculty meetings, Prof. Dev., etc. I will reinvigorate writing over the summer and will write because I am a School Teacher not a classroom teacher.

    Thanks, George!


  6. Rosemary West

    “I am a rung on the ladder of your child’s success.” There, you now know what my motto is for the coming year…….and yes- we need to do everything necessary to climb upward with others in the school. George, you rule!

  7. Mr. Theriault

    This topic comes up so much on Twitter, and in informal conversations with other teachers. Some things never change. There is a part of teaching that is exactly like school was for us as kids. When you see someone blog or talk at a conference there is a verbal back-channel of snickering, eye-rolling, or comments from parts of the audience. Not every speaker or blogger is comfortable with this so they blog in private or stay off the stage. As an ENTIRE community we need to do less of this to encourage participation. On the admin side they MUST take pictures or Tweet teach success stories to show those teachers the power of sharing. Let’s commit ourselves to scaffolding and supporting sharing in the community. If you truly believe that all students have value then the same must be said for all teachers. Let’s help them discover and nurture that value.

  8. Tabitha Ellison

    I love this. I am a para-educator and teacher candidate in my last year of school. I started late…I’m 38 but I am learning a lot- in school, and using blogs like yours to learn even more. There are situations at the middle school I work in…where I just want to share! I don’t know a teacher or admin in the building who is building a PLN or the like…and I think, “I’m just a para-educator”…I am not the one with an education degree. I finally took a chance last year because of a situation with a boy with emotional and behavioral disorders…he was not being served the way he should have been. Long story. I shared a book with a counselor that was trying to advocate for him but wasn’t being listened to. She read the whole thing- we had an amazing conversation- she will share with the staff at the beginning of this school year. She didn’t look at me as ‘just a para’ she looked at me and said, “Are you almost done with school? You need to hurry up.” I will be careful not to think I know more than the professional educators, and not overstep boundaries that should definitely exist, but I won’t be too shy about what I am learning, to share when it will benefit.

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