10 ways to grow as an educator…
Participating in the Reform Symposium online conference this weekend has highlighted for me how just much I have learnt in the past year. This list is based entirely on personal experience. All of these work!
1. Establish an in-school PLN
Create a ‘personal learning network’. Connect with other teachers/learners at your school and share ideas, bounce off each other, listen to each other, criticise each other, learn together.
2. Interact with someone who thinks differently than you do
Work closely with someone who doesn’t always think like you. Listen to their perspective. Share yours. Provoke each other. Argue. Defend your opinion. Compromise. Don’t compromise. Learn from each other.
3. Listen to TED talks
Keep up to date with TED talks. There are some incredible, inspirational thinkers and presenters on TED. Watch the ones that are not about education to broaden your learning and thinking. Consider how you might be able to apply the ideas in education.
4. Make global connections
Learn about other people, other schools, other cultures. Connect with them online. Be a learner first. Then make global connections for your students too.
5. Join Twitter
Find someone to help you get started (I will, if you like). Follow topics, not just people. Participate. Ask for help and offer help. Be patient, it takes time to build an online network.
6. Create your own opportunities
Be a risk taker. Start a focus group. Participate in online conferences. Explore new ideas. Experiment with new tools. Initiate something new in your school. Do something that’s not in your job description.
7. Subscribe to blogs
Set up an RSS feed for educational blogs you find interesting. Or start by subscribing via email. Ask for recommendations. Comment on blogs you read and get involved in conversations.
8. Write your own blog
Seriously, anyone can do it. It’s great for reflection and helps synthesize and clarify your thoughts. It’s not about the readers as much as the process.
9. Work in an IB school
Teaching through the PYP makes you think. It challenges the way you do things. You shift from facts and topics to conceptual ideas. You plan collaboratively across disciplines. You become an inquirer.
10. Be part of a learning community.
Or three. Learn from and with your students. Learn from and with your colleagues. Learn from and with other educators online.
These are only the first 10 that came to mind. As always, you’re invited to continue from #11!