Anyone up for sharing? Anyone?


Below is an email I sent out to the entire district where I teach. It is a smaller district but for some reason we rarely cross paths with the middle school or elementary school teachers. In the email, I was trying to sound excited, open and honest. I did not want to sound condescending or assuming. The whole purpose of the activity is for me to share what I have learned from Shelly Terrell’s book called The 30 Goals Challenge. Please read this short email:

Do you ever feel alone in your teaching? Do you ever feel like you are banging your head against a wall? Have you ever felt disconnected to your students? I have. This past year, I have learned about unconferences. It’s a place where teachers share and lead with their ideas and experiences. I would love to share with you a fabulous professional development opportunity. It’s free and will change your perspective! Please consider. I understand we have no time and are already giving 100%. If you can find 20 minutes, I would love to show you how I have learned from teachers all around the world. We will meet in my room (454 in the high school) on February 3rd at 3:15. This unconference is open to all staff members in our district. Please let me know if you will be attending.

Cecilia Schoultz

So far, there has been one person who has accepted from a list of over 150.  Should I be happy about one person? What could I do to encourage more to participate?

Since writing this post, I have will have 3 current teachers and 3 student teachers attending my sharing session. I also had one administrator decline but show support and gratitude. I’m very excited to share with the teachers some of the tools I have learned and how it has changed my teacher.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ian P. Kelly, M.Ed.
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 20:44:02

    Hey Cecilia,

    Just read your post! Don’t give up. Yes, you should be happy about finding one other person to connect with and share. That’s a 100% increase over the one other person in your district (you!). Keep going. Next time you try, you might get two or three. Never give up.

    My piece of advice for encouraging others is to focus on the positive. I am going through a similar process in my district right now. Trying to lead the masses to the PLN can be difficult. I have found that focusing on three concepts is building momentum:

    1. Keep it positive. I have shifted my message from what we don’t have to what we can potentially have by connecting with professionals around the globe. This has helped get people excited.

    2. Take it slow. Remember that throwing the entire enchilada at folks may overwhelm and turn them off to the idea. The concept of a PLN is powerful but broad. Make sure that you introduce it in a meaningful context. I always start by talking about the professional learning network as a means of broadening the existing networks that we have within our district. This inevitably leads to the question, “How do we access that network of professionals?” Which

    3. Introduce the tools one at a time as the folks around you raise the need for them. Accessing a PLN requires proficiency with tools, tools that not everyone will be comfortable or familiar with. The primary tools that I use are Twitter, Tweetgrid, bit.ly, and Instapaper. These are all tools that I have come to find useful because of needs that have arisen working with and through my PLN. Once you get people started, someone is bound to come through with something like, “I want to share a link with my friends on Twitter but it takes up too many characters.” To which you would respond, “I have a tool that can help you with that. Let me share it with you.”

    Like I said, I am in the boat with you. I have started posting (http://ianpkelly.wordpress.com/) and talking about my efforts to get this started with my teachers and others within the district. I am starting to pick up some momentum so will have much more to share in the coming months. I am in the process of throwing a few resources together that I will use with groups of teachers around the district. Happy to share if you are interested.

    Good luck and stay with it!

    Ian

    Reply

    • profhutch
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 21:02:30

      Ian-
      Thank you so much for your comment! I understand and like your ideas about taking it slow and keeping it positive. I am grateful to have you as an active member of my PLN.

      I look forward to learning more with you through your blog and through twitter!
      Thanks for the share!
      Cecilia

      Reply

  2. Trackback: Tweets that mention Anyone up for sharing? Anyone? « Chez Prof Hutch -- Topsy.com

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