Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fish Finder

Fish Finder by ChicagoBob46
Fish Finder, a photo by ChicagoBob46 on Flickr.

"So basically you are just trolling for teachers" Said @Willrich45 to me at the #techitu conference this week. "That should be the name of your blog." I have been wrestling with this statement in my mind and keep coming to the same place. Am I doing a disservice to teachers if I try to introduce ideas and thoughts that I, myself, don't truly understand. Should I wait until I figure it out before I share it? What is the purpose of the conference of collaboration and the whole idea of professional learning networks? What makes the web communication different? Why do we need to think differently and teach differently? And by the way, what is a "blog"?

Last year was my first year as a middle school principal. I wanted to change the culture and climate and believed that what I was doing was best for kids. If I wait and try to perfect my thinking about learning networks, web 2.0 tools, and what the future will look like for kids BEFORE I share it; I will be presenting a fantastic PowerPoint slideshow on an LCD projector at my retirement dinner in the year 2030 (if I can find any an LCD projector or a computer that uses PowerPoint). I have been hesitant to start blogging and unsure if anyone would read or care what I thought, if people would care too much and I would get into trouble, or why would I even want to, I am not "good" at writing and what would I get out of it?

I have introduced technology into every meeting and professional development activity. I share new ideas, articles, and tweets that I receive from my network. I readily admit that I am not the authority in any of this. I continually preach to my teachers that it is OK if you are not the expert. Pose the question and allow the kids to figure out the best way to answer and allow them to teach you. Take chances, "We learn with and through others" (a sign posted in my office and now in my teachers meeting room) put your ideas out there and have someone help you with them. Help others with their ideas. Be an active participant in each other learning. Be a producer and not just a consumer of information. When you get tired of talking to the same teacher next store, the same building principal, or the same students in your class, start a BLOG. I did it today and would welcome any feedback to make it and me better.

As far as "trolling for teachers", I am going to expand that idea. I will continue to introduce, model and share ideas to see if I can "hook" any of my teachers. Since I am already "hooked" I am planning on trolling for followers, blog subscribers and people out there who like what I have to say, challenge me, and make me a better person, leader and teacher.

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