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!
Series of posts on ’10 Ways …’ #5
24 thoughts on “10 ways to grow as an educator…”
Fantastic top 10 and just what the SLAV PLN Program has recently taught me – my #11 would be ‘have fun and don’t be afraid to try something new’.
This is all great advice. I like your suggestion that folks take risks, that they “Do something that’s not in your job description.” Thanks for the sharing.
Love this list, and on top of most of these, but thanks for reminding me about No. 2!
I really appreciate you including an inschool PLN. It has always amazed me that we are willing to spend BIG bucks on bringing outside consultants in to “train” us when we have so much talent sitting right in our faculty meetings.
Agree! We’ve started tapping into our own staff expertise and learning. On our coming staff PD day, we’re devoting the morning to a ‘Give 1, Take 2’ , where teachers will present a session and attend 2 others. Lots of staff are presenting, some are sharing things they learnt at external PD workshops, some are presenting in 2’s or 3’s. Should be great!
I agree. 2 thumbs up. Like. 🙂
My favorite- “Do something that’s not in your job description.” I think we should all pass that one on!
The one I need most- #2. 🙂
Thanks for this post.
You explained “PLN” but why not the other acronyms? What is TED? And IB could be International Baccalaureate or Inquiry Based.
Thanks for the feedback! I’ll put a link to TED right now. Here’s the website http://www.ted.com/
IB- I meant International Bac, but inquiry based is also fine!!
I feel like I should print this and keep if on my desk as a reminder.
If you aren’t growin’, you just might be dead!
Can I just say, Ed, that I love you and your blog. I wish I was a fraction of the blogger you are. Anyway, I love this post and plan to pass it on to colleagues. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Twitter, so far, has been one if the most beneficial PD activities that I have invested myself into. Hopefully my blog can gain some momentum and I can use my writing as way to connect and take a mote active role in the PLN that we are a part of.
A fantastic list! Any person in a professional position of almost any sort should be building a PLN.
For creating an internal PLN, many school districts are using Yammer, which provides the functionality of Twitter but is seen within the organization only; sort of Twitter with training wheels.
We’ve created this SlideShare that explains Twitter and other tools for teachers, with links to the best articles we could find explaining their value:
#12 Comment on blogs, it is a great way to connect to other educators, reflect on what you are reading, encourage a blogger, and make a new friend!
This is a great list. I think a started 7 of these this year and my teaching (and my life) is richer because of each one. I will be sharing this post at my next staff meeting.
Thanks for commenting, Evan. I only started doing many of them myself in the past year or two and can’t believe how much I have learned and grown. One of the best things is being able to connect with other educators globally. I connected with Megan on Twitter because of PYP and have now connected with you as a result and today I discovered your blog too. The possibilities are endless…
I spend so much time trying to grow as a professional educator, that I forgot to broaden my horizens from #3. I thirst for new educational information… I hadn’t thought about growing as an educator and taking time to learn something new and different. Thank you for reminding me!!
Thanks Ed for the list! I am in Graduate School and currently at home with my little one. This list reminded me of all of the things I can be doing to educate myself while I am out of the classroom. My favorite though is #2. It’s a great way to keep the fire lit. We are always learning from each other!
Thanks for writing this nice blog about how to grow as a teacher.I really share the same views with you ,and I wrote and article about a similar topic:”how to survive professional death”.You can check it here and share your views with me http://auxiliarybrain.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/how-to-survive-in-professional-death/