Contributor: Amy Storer, Instructional Coach, Montgomery ISD
In January of 2018, I came across a post on Twitter about a Voxer book study on the book, The Four O’Clock Faculty by Rich Czyz. One of my goals that school year was to transform professional learning on my campus, and I knew this book would be a great resource so I jumped in. I learned so much from this group and the book, and when it was getting close to wrapping up I was sad about not having the group around anymore. A little before the book study was over, Matt Larson, our leader, asked if anyone wanted to stay in the group. Many of us stayed behind, because we just didn’t want the connections to end. It is now almost a year later, and we are still going strong. We have become more than just a PLN (professional learning community). We are truly a family. Our conversations range from educational hot topics to favorite restaurants and to stories about our families. I know that I can depend on this group and each individual for anything. I would have never come across this book study if it wasn’t for Twitter and if I wasn’t a connected educator.
Being a connected educator doesn’t mean that you have to be connected online. Being a connected educator means just that. You are connected to your peers and working towards team and personal goals. You are brainstorming ways to reach every student and address every hurdle. You are connected to grow as an educator, because your growth isn’t just for you. It is for your kids, too. Standing still in education is dangerous. We should be reaching out to others on our campus, in our cities, in our states and abroad to gain new knowledge and experiences to bring back to our kids.
I love talking about the “Power of the PLN” and being connected. I enjoy sharing all of the experiences that I have gone through that have helped to continue to mold and shape me into the educator that I was meant to be. Every person that I have met and experience that I have gone through has added so much to my educational journey. And it isn’t over yet! Is it ever?
Join Amy Storer at her poster session, “Power of the PLN”, at FETC on January 28th from 5-6 PM. She will be at booth 3103 sharing her stories and experiences about being a connected educator.