IOU (& IO me)

Nikki Robertson (@NikkiDRobertson) always cries when she tells the story of her own connected #edujourney. It is a coming of age tale of sorts, and I suspect it will resonate with many teachers.

After over two decades as a teacher-librarian, Nikki was going through the motions, “going to work and pulling in a paycheck” while she counted down the years until retirement. She admits to being lulled into a passive position, waiting for her district to give her the “professional development” she deserved and feeling beaten down by a culture of “no.”

But a few years ago Nikki’s own curiosity about a new thing called “QR codes” led her to Twitter and Shelley Sanchez’s (@ShellTerrell) #30GoalsEDU challenge. These steps connected Nikki with the PLN that, in her words, “saved her life.” This journey transformed the way Nikki envisioned her career and her life. Knowing her PLN “had her back,” Nikki resolved to “do something different.” Since then, as she explained today in her #30GoalsEDU keynote with a voice full of emotion, “I have been able to do amazing things, thanks to my PLN.”

I heard Nikki’s story this morning and resolved to take one step further in my own #edujourney by starting this blog.

Bolstered by her story, I will push away the self-doubt, ignore the “haters,” and keep on trying to live by the Library Girl’s (@jenniferlagarde) motto, “Be Fearless.”

Instead of just thinking about it, I did it.

… And I am trying not to worry about perfection. As another #30GoalsEDU keynoter, Noah Geisel (@SenorG) commented, “You don’t have to be perfect right out of the gate!” After all, there is no growth without mistakes:).

Full disclosure: For years I have been a lurker on Twitter. I learn something daily from my Twitter Learning Community (what I call my “TLC”), but only recently have I risked putting my own ideas and resources out there. It is my TLC that I credit for my growth as an educator over this past year+. So it is out of gratitude for all my TLC has given to me that I take this leap into blogging (head first, eyes wide open, with a Yahoooo!).

Most of my TLC does not know me, but they have changed me for the better. And if I can have even a sliver of that impact on someone else, I owe it to my ever-growing TLC to contribute, not just lurk. Similar to the blogging pioneer Sue Waters, I am eager to start blogging to connect with and help others, and (hopefully) to “make a difference in their life” (see her post “Why I Blog (and How You Can Too,” shared yesterday).

Yet in considering the “Why” of my blog, I know I also owe it to myself. I need to build more purposeful reflection into my practice. Starr Sackstein (@mssackstein), one of my most influential members of my TLN, tweeted recently, “blogging is an essential part of my growth as an educator.” In order to be better at what I do, I need to take the time to reflect on my own practice, bounce my ideas off other others, collaborate more, and “Share Shamelessly” (via The Daring Librarian @GwynethJones as quoted today in Nikki’s #30GoalsEDU keynote).

For now (like Sue Waters) I am keeping the “whys” of this blog simple:

  1. Give back to & connect with others
  2. Be more reflective.

Here are some other reasons you might want to start blogging, condensed from Starr’s six reasons why teachers should blog (or buy her book for more coaching on getting started):

  • reflect
  • connect
  • collaborate
  • voice
  • write
  • model (Sketchnote to follow, I promise;).

So, to my TLC (@cdworrell), thanks for the inspiration. I still OU:).


2 thoughts on “IOU (& IO me)

  1. Hi Colleen

    Congratulations on starting your blog! Collectively we all learn so much from our PLN. Perhaps on of the most powerful messages I shared in my presentation was why I blogged and my metric of success. Yet it is unlikely I would have remembered to include it in my presentation, or use the term metric of success, if my PLN hadn’t helped and guided me as to what to include in the presentation.

    Best of luck with your blogging and I hope you gain as much from the reflective process as I have!

    Sue Waters


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