In today’s busy world, it takes a lot of energy to prioritize and execute a to-do list filled with our work, family, and social responsibilities. As professional educators we often leave our own professional growth and development to our district leaders to figure out for us. Some of us engage in professional learning networks on social media and that recharges the batteries for us to keep us running full throttle during the school year. One way I’ve taken a more active role in my own professional growth since becoming a school administrator is to join Massachusetts Secondary Schools Administrator’s Association. If you too are a busy educator who yearns for high quality professional learning opportunities outside of your own school or district, I highly recommend seeking our your local branch of your national organization, whether it’s NCTE, ACTFL, NASSP, NCTE, NCHE, ASCD or ISTE, these organizations help to connect you to other educators to expand your own professional network while also providing you access to conferences geared towards personalized learning.
This week, I attended a conference called Summer Institute by MSSAA.
Not only did I have a chance to connect with some truly inspiring educators, many of whom I follow on Twitter, but I also got to attend workshops that helped push my thinking on how to engage with students, teachers, and parents as an assistant principal.
Here are my notes from three workshops I attended over the past two days:
- Creating Emotionally Safe Spaces by Henry Turner
- Transforming School Culture and Learning by Bill Burkhead
- Practical Strategies to Lead and Inspire Change by John Clements & Mary Anne Moran
This morning (DAY #2) I attended another workshop entitled, “The Alchemy of Social Media: Prioritizing Relationships to Nurture Whole School Community through Legacy Building.” I know the title is a mouthful, but it really captures the entire hour discussion hosted by Marty Geoghegan and Brian McCann. In their workshop they discussed how as school leaders they have experimented using social media and in doing so have created gold.
Sometimes as educators we spend so much time in our respective buildings working our to-do lists, solving problems and organizing events and activities, that we lose sight of what’s happening in the field of education at large. We also can tend to feel cut off from educators in other schools and districts. Ever since I started this journey as an educator who connects with a Personal Learning Network on Twitter and as a blogger, I’ve discovered that there’s no better way to find inspiration than to put yourself out there on social media and engage with peers and colleagues both within and without of your district. I’m grateful to my superiors in my home district for supporting me in my desire to attend this conference as a professional development activity. I’ve spent two days with a whole community of leaders in education, and I feel reinvigorated to return to my school and get to work on the new school year. Please take some time to read through my notes from the workshops posted above and explore the links to the educators I’ve mentioned. If you appreciate what you see, please follow them on Twitter and on their blogs.
If you would like to connect with me and become part of my PLN, please follow this blog and/or follow me on Twitter.