This past week I have been having many moments of clarity on what it mans to be a part of a learning community. What it means to support, teach, question, and admire when working with other educators. I guess you can say I am finally “getting” the importance of being a part of a learning community/network.
Being a part of a community of learners is about give and take, and I will admit for a little while there, I felt that I was doing a lot of giving and not any taking. This week I realized I should not be expecting to take, that in fact it is up to me on what I want to take away with me when collaborating with others. I am not into giving new teachers stacks of resources and paper hand outs to support their teaching. I am more about encouraging the new teachers to ask what is it that they want to learn and why do they want to learn it. Being a part of a learning community is very personal and it is up to us to take what we want and need to better our practice.
This week I took so much away with me after mentoring teachers on math, planning, blogging, and management. The biggest thing I walked away with was excitement and enthusiasm for bettering my practice. For the first time in awhile I was feeling excited to try new things with the class, and to try new things with the mentees. I can not wait to find out what more we can explore and discover in this ever changing world of learners.
On a side note, I have to say I tweeted today. I tweeted my students Harris Burdick stories, and William Chamberlain tweeted back! He gave me more resources on Harris Burdick and he told me his wife just came across a new book where famous authors have done just what my students have done, they finished the tales. I have done this writing activity for years, and what makes this kind of neat is that I read about William Chamberlain doing the exact activity but through blogs, in William Kist’s “The Socially Networked Classroom.” It was him who inspired me to ask my students if they wanted to blog their stories. It seems that this little assignment has made a complete circle in my personal learning community. And yes, I am so excited to try more!
I would like to send out a thank you to all those involved in my learning communities, whether you know you are a part of it or not, you have made a huge difference in mine and my students learning.