Whew! It has been quite the 24 hours for this little blogger. Yesterday at this time, I was nervously typing away, wondering if anyone would even waste 5 minutes to read the 1st installment of ‘Principal Reflections’. Fast forward to today: 100 views from 3 different countries (Yeah France!), and 8 comments from dedicated members of my Personal Learning Network.
It was incredibly empowering to know that people were reading my ideas and responding with connections to my experiences. A calming sense came over me when I found out that others are feeling the same way that I am, and they have been doing this much longer than I have (which is only 2 whole months).
After my wife deflated my head (had a hard time fitting through the door) and convinced me that I wasn’t quite ready to quit my job and go on a book tour, I realized that I was getting a great deal of support from my PLN, but wasn’t really returning the favor. The fact of the matter is that when I engage with other educators electronically, I am usually looking for help/answers/ideas to benefit me and my staff/school. It’s all about ME! (According to my wife, it has taken me quite awhile to get to this acceptance stage)
If everyone took this approach, PLN’s wouldn’t exist because everyone would be asking for help and no one would be there to provide it. I understand that getting started with something like Twitter or a Blog, there is a learning curve, which probably starts with getting familiar with what the tools can do and ends with teaching others to utilize the tools (see @principalJ, @Wiscprincipal, @Howeprincipal, @posickj et al). If it weren’t for those that pay it forward, PLN’s would turn quickly into the Shakers (don’t be ashamed if you have to use Google to get that joke :)
My personal goals include blogging more often (check), and being more active on Twitter (check), but more specifically, I want to contribute to my PLN so that I am an active, helpful member, rather than an egocentric, self serving mooch (sorry to those who I may have abused up to this point)
Responding to questions, providing ideas that are unprompted, and providing encouraging words are just a few of things that you can do to be a responsible, contributing member to society (well, your PLN anyway)
And remember, ask not what your PLN can do for you–ask what you can do for for your PLN!
P.s. …and still trying to figure out how to indent my paragraphs! :(