Monday, December 18, 2017

Thanks for the PUSH !

As a part of the Compelled Tribe, I am not always the best at keeping up with our goal to blog every month.  OK, I'm pretty bad at that part, but I love reading the blogs of my colleagues from all over the US.  I appreciate our Voxer group and reflect on those conversations often.  It is the support from this group and others in my life for which I am grateful.  They provide the push I often need, even if they don't know it.

The push comes from  colleagues, friends, and family members, too.  It's the encouragement I often need to keep moving forward that think about my next step, personally and professionally which comes in the form of an encouraging word, an friendly text, or a call-out that holds me accountable.

Accountable towards our work, our vision as a school district, and my pursuit of innovation as an educator and learner.

Its even more interesting when push or a nudge comes from a stranger--well not really a stranger but someone who you've never really met.  If you've ever been lucky enough to hear George Couros speak, then you know he can challenge your thoughts and cause you re-imagine your practices.  He nudges people within his talks--well OK sometimes he downright shoves you!  But in a good way.  In a way that makes you momentarily second guess your stance on things and potentially question your practices.

At a recent conference he blatantly tells a group of school and district leaders--if you didn't bring a device to this session, you are making yourself irrelevant!  He goes on to push the audience further and explains that social media is an necessary tool in the world we live in.  Within a few minutes, a superintendent in the audience who vowed never to join Twitter did just that.  She was pushed out of her comfort zone to try something that she didn't consider doing before.  That was a risk for her but one that will surely pay off in the open communication that she will create in her district and within her personal learning network.

While this superintendent shared this news with the group she had a huge smile on her face, but you could see that she was still nervous about taking this leap.  The reality is, we need to use social media in education to connect with others, build relationships, and share our stories.  As school leaders, we need to model social media use for our teachers and students.  George shared insight from a student he worked with who said, "Social media is like water.  You can either let us drown or teach us to swim."

The superintendent in that session is now taking on this responsibility to teach the students and teachers in her district the power of leveraging social media.  It was the push from a stranger that propelled her forward.  It is that same push that often drives me to Persist Until Something Happens. 

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