This year I begin my twelfth year as a professional educator. I like to think of myself as energetic and enthusiastic about my profession and I still believe that it is noble, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a little burned out lately. In addition to my teaching role I have been the acting (if not official) technology coordinator for the school, diligently attending workshops and conferences, teaching teachers, and waving pom-poms for integration. But lately I have felt that no one else is cheering.
As is my wont, I adopted Twitter early on, after hearing a buzz about it in nerdy circles. I had a very hard time discovering its usefulness, and abandoned it almost completely for nearly a year. After all, who wanted to hear about the minutia of my daily life…@MrR0g3rs “now I’m in line @ Wal-Mart.”? I’m not sure what it was that brought me back to the bird but I think it was when I decided to click the ubiquitous “follow me” button on the “Free Technology for Teachers” website. I then decided that I should hit the “follow me” button on all of the websites that I subscribed to.
I sat back and watched the conversation for a while and realized that this was a collection of really cool people who were like me, passionate about education and technology. Beyond just being interesting, I instantly learned that this group was also willing and eager to share everything that they knew or learned. They answered questions ranging from deep philosophical queries to how many cups of coffee they had consumed that day. And they let me play, right away. They answered my questions and thanked me for my input. This group of great professionals newly energizes me and I am telling everyone I see about its usefulness and potential. I heart my PLN (Personal Learning Network), thanks for my teaching twenaissance. Want to follow the cool kids yourself, look who I’m following.