As the school year wraps up, I try to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. This year, I made a huge effort to grow outside of my comfort zone; I needed to network. But where do you start?
The education scene is FULL of amazing people doing incredible things, but as a teacher, it’s hard to find time to cut through the overwhelming noise. I dove headfirst into several Twitter chats, and ended up being completely overwhelmed. And EVERYONE has a blog these days. I made the mistake of Googling “educational tech blogs,” and YOW. What an avalanche.
So I backed off for a while, and in the meantime, I missed all KINDS of great information.
Don’t do that.
Here’s what you do instead: start SMALL. Like, ONE thing at a time. Because just that one thing can become overwhelming if you let it.
I hooked up with a Wednesday night Twitter chat, #BmoreEdChat. They’re a great group of teachers out of Baltimore, but the group has people from all over the globe. Even though I’m no where near Baltimore, I love the group, because their topics fit perfectly into my district’s big picture. The resources, books, and research they suggest is more helpful than my graduate program! So find a group, just one, and get connected. If you like it, you can always add another. You might want to check your district for one!
I’ll admit, the blogs still get me. Most of the time, I would just click through posts on my Facebook feed. But I wasn’t making meaningful connections that way, so I signed up for ISTE’s Blogging Buddies program. It hooks you up with a manageable group with fellow ed tech coaches, and all you do is commit to posting, reading and commenting on one post a month. As I get to know my buddies, I find myself reading WAY more than I originally intended, which is a win/win for everyone.
So as you settle into summer, lounging by the pool (HAHAHA, that’s an inside joke for teachers), take a moment to make a connection or two.