December 29, 2012 by Brad Currie
Over the last week, many educators from around the world contributed to a Google Doc titled “2012 Changed Me For The Better.” Here is their wonderful insight……..
2012 changed me as an educator on a number of fronts. First off, Twitter enabled me to expand my PLN and connect with like-minded educators from around the world. Secondly, I was able to attend some outstanding conferences such as ASCD, Edscape, EdcampNJ and Edcamp Leadership. Lastly, I was given the unbelievable opportunity to co-moderate #satchat every Saturday morning on Twitter. 2012 was a game-changer for me professionally and looking for forward to all the great opportunities in 2013.
Brad Currie @bcurrie
2012 was a roller-coaster year for me. After attending the NASSP Conference in Tampa, I was recharged and really saw the benefit of Twitter. Like Brad, Twitter changed everything for me. I now have contacts from Hillsborough NJ to Hillsborough Australia! I have a whole new respect for the power of the PLN. I’m looking forward to 2013 and seeing the possibilities and potentials that social media will bring to education.
Jay – @PrincipalEit
2012 changed me as an educator. I’d have to call it the year of the presenter. I’ve finally taken the leap and started presenting my thoughts and experience as a teacher, literacy specialist, and technology integration specialist. By presenting and collaborating with other teachers, I increase my knowledge and understanding immensely. I look forward to the challenges and benefits in 2013!
During 2012 I realised that I was mortal and replaceable in the classroom and as subject team leader. I was seriously injured by a pupil and had 4 weeks off school. This made me a better educator as it took “me” out of the classroom as I understood for the first time that I had built my professional practice on my personality – great, it made me a grade 1 practitioner, but at the expense of my personal life, and health. Now I plan sustainable interventions that are scalable and implementable, with or with out me — I guess I’ve started to focus on the bigger picture for the first time and not just “what I can do”.
Glen – @mrgpg
For me 2012 changed the lense through which I view education. I went from looking just at my classroom and how the students were doing to examining how to design lessons, how to reach students, and how to connect with parents. Twitter was a game changer for me, enabling this to happen. Being a teacher can be one of the least collaborative professions, and Twitter has allowed me to change that and collaborate with teachers from Michigan, Texas, California, New Jersey, and other countries around the worl. I’m looking forward to 2013, keeping the connections I have made, and giving back to the people who have helpe me so much. Thanks PLN.
John – @JohnFritzky
2012 brought me PBL, Twitter, and Edmodo. I have gained so much by using Twitter as a professional resource. I was also selected to attend Space Camp inAlabama as a Honeywell Space Academy For Teachers attendee. This was the realization of an lifelong dream. I have shared my experiences with my students, but most of all shared with them to never give up on a dream. 2012 also brought more restrictions in what and how I teach by my district, but this only challenges me to be more creative to find ways to engage learners while still meeting district expectations. I have involved my 5th grade class in collaborations with high school classes, brought in experts, and given my students time to research their own interests. I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!
2012 has been one of the most rewarding times in my professional life. It started with an idea between Brad Currie and I of a chat on Twitter for current and future administrators on Saturday mornings and turned into a connection with some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic educators I have ever met. The #satchat family of educators are willing to give up a part of their weekend to share and learn with others. Their passion and professionalism keeps me energized and enthusiastic about the future of education. The year also provided opportunities to attend a number of conferences, collaborate with New Jersey educators on our very first EdcampNJ, and present at a few conferences to educators on the use of social media in education. The year was capped with being appointed Superintendent. A position I will start on January 2, 2013. The majority of this year’s success is a result of the connections through social media and my PLN.
Scott – @ScottRRocco
Change of school, change of sector, change of role, move from one region of the UK to another as I moved from Deputy Head of an independent school to Head of a state grammar school (day and boarding). So plenty of challenges for me in 2012 in getting to grips with a new community, learning to see the world through new eyes (theirs), as well as starting to see ways forward and priorities for change! I have found the NPQH network very useful (the UK headship qualification) both on-line and in the flesh.
Chris Pyle @christopherpyle
Where do I begin? In June, I interviewed successfully for my very first full-time position, took the summer to rest, reflect, and reframe.. and of course, prepare for the fall. I took to twitter in order to watch the labour situation in Ontario worsen with the introduction of Bill 115, the “putting students first act”, where the word “student” appears a grand total of three times. In the coming months I would see most of my new exciting ideas put on hold as we entered work-to-rule sanctions, and rotating walkouts. It’s given me time to put my energy I would have spent on the extras into organizing my classroom, for which I am somehow weirdly grateful. My wishlist items for changing my new physical space are slowly appearing, and I’m looking for ways to connect my tablet with my teaching practice smoothly. All this between 30 mins before the morning bell and 30 mins at the end of the day. It’s rough, and I’m not anticipating 2013 will be better, but I am finally in a situation where I can share, guide, and collaborate with many students I see daily, enjoying a respectful-if-tense professional environment, and starting to envision the future. It’s no longer about just getting the job for me, as it seemed to be the first 6 years of my career, it’s about being in this crazy wonderful profession.
J. Malcolm @missmalcolm
2012 was the year I finally began to truly believe in myself as a professional educator with ideas worth sharing. I presented for the first time at a conference of STEM educators and got some great feedback. I have been accepted as a presenter at the 2013 NSTA national conference and I am thrilled…and a bit nervous! I joined Twitter and quickly found a great group of people/organizations and built a fun and nourishing PLN. Recent events in the news have encouraged me to value each and every student, and to celebrate my students for their unique ways of learning. I thanked a second grader for the holiday gift she gave me (scented soap) and we ended up holding hands, talking, and laughing as we walked with the class to lunch. It reminded me why I teach–to connect with kids and help them grow into happy, smart, wonderful people.
Amy – @aub75229
2012 was a really important year for me professionally. I became actively engaged in Twitter and gained enormously from increasing my contacts and expanding my PLN. After years in Program Improvement, my school achieved both the federal and state goals and we are now on our way to exiting PI status. Our fifth grade students were chosen to present at the Student Technology Showcase at the CUE conference in Palm Springs. I presented for the first time at the Leading
Edge Conference and have been invited to be the keynote speaker at another conference in January. I look forward to the rewards and challenges that 2013 will bring, and I continue to be grateful for being able to work every day with a wonderful group of teachers in a profession I love. Anne @Ajay460
2012 Changed Me for the Better…First of all, it provide me an opportunity to serve others as an Instructional Coach for our districts special ed teacher. While this was a new role, it has grown me professionally. As a coach, asking others to try new things….I knew I needed to not ask of others what I’m not willing to do myself. So, here it is….Twitter! This has provided me with an amazing group of people to learn from, ask questions to, and sometimes just sit and listen. To me this is Professional Development at its finest. After Twitter began blogging, and I feel so inspired to keep learning and growing.
It seems that every year I learn and grow as an educator, but 2012 was an especially profound year of growth. My district has embarked on a Strategic Design Process and I have had the privilege of serving as a Strategic Design coach. This has changed me for the better, because I have been supported to be an agent of change, to take risks, and to step outside of my comfort zone. I have learned that I do not have all the answers, to depend on others, and to focus on strengths instead of deficits. This year has brought me amazing new district colleagues, a team of brilliant educators, and an ever growing PLN. I also have learned the importance of bringing balance to one’s life and to enjoy the blessing of family. 2012 has been an amazing year!
Lesa Haney @lesahaney
This year I continue to extend my PLN through resources such as Twitter, Blogs and meet-ups like EdCamp and Educon. I’ve had incredible PD opportunities from Ireland to Louisiana to local organizations. Deepening my knowledge of PBL, STEaM and approaches to teaching such as UBD has kept me challenged, connected and motivated in many meaningful ways. I am continually thankful for the people in my PLN who keep me intrigued about what’s to be found on the next page. My own growth has lead to more questions about where I am at professionally and the path I want to set forth. Interactions and conversations often lead to answers, though none of them are laid in a concrete that allows for adult-like stability (yet). I do know that I believe in and find joy in teaching educators about technology integration and approaches to PBL in science and social studies. That the integration of the arts is a door to creativity, an outlet of the imagination, in subject areas that can often be challenging for both teacher and student. I remain challenged in seeing an education framework that infuses these beliefs to motivate 21st century learners, educators, leaders and mentors.
-Diana Potts @pottsedtech
2012 has been a huge year for me professionally. I honestly believe the jumpstart was TCEA last year where I attended a Twitter session with Dr. Howie DiBlasi (@hdiblasi). 10 months ago I did not have a Twitter account. Because of Dr. Howie’s session, I have nearly 800 followers and use Twitter almost daily for networking, professional development, inspiration, research, and much more! Twitter has most definitely changed me as an educator – not only do I have hundreds of experts at my fingertips, I also am able to give back to my professional community. My Twitter PLN was a huge help when my district rolled out 12 ChromeBook carts and also as we introduced our staff to Google Apps for Education. GAFE has also changed my professional life. This year I became a Google Certified Trainer and created a listing in the Google Marketplace for corporate training. 2012 has been the most exciting of my career largely in part to Twitter and Google and I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store!
Jessica Johnston @edtechchic
2012, to echo others, has been a great year for me marked by professional growth – largely through social media. As a literacy consultant, I have been working with teachers, coaches, principals, and administrators for 14 years which has been challenging and immensely rewarding. Although I’ve been conducting PD through videoconferencing for over a decade, I hadn’t jumped into social media with both feet. I’ve always given back to the educational community through professional conferences, but with our new website and diving into social media, I have been able to give back to educators by launching many of our tools including the Common Core Toolkit, cheat sheets (Twitter, Pinterest, & Common Core), and infographics (Top 10 Vocabulary and others) . By posting them on social media, they’ve been downloaded thousands of times and have spread across the internet to help educators across the country and world. Through my PLN on Twitter and LinkedIn, I interact with more educators than ever before and have made connections that would not have happened without these professional networks. I join in on several chat groups, including #satchat, and enjoy the interaction and get my own dose of professional learning from other teachers, coaches, and administrators. With the new year, I’m launching a literacy eBook based on our work with schools and districts who improve literacy learning and achievement; it will be the first in a series of literacy eBooks. Great things are happening. My PLN is growing and #satchat is a vital part of that. Thanks to @ScottRRocco and @bcurrie for moderating a dynamic group of forward-thinking administrators.
Kimberly Tyson @tysonkimberly
2012 was a year to remember as I truly began to implement the power of twitter, blogs, instagram, facebook, and other social networking tools to engage others in learning. Furthermore, I have grown both personally and professionally this past year in terms of my understanding of #PLN’s, digital learning, cloud computing, digital literacy, networking, leadership, and much more. I look forward to sharing more of my learning from 2012 on my own blog: “Drinkwine at Schools” drizzinkwine.blogspot.com and through the power of twitter: @drizzinkwine #edudream In addition, my doctoral degree completion in Leadership and Professional Practice and the connected dissertation/research study on “Multitasking Learning Environments” will surely be a mainstay in my 2012 memories. Thanks to the following tweeps (among others) for assisting me both personally and professionally this past year on twitter: @pwilson @tomwhitby @NMHS_principal @gcouros @phillklamm @2footgiraffe @RyanBJackson1 @toddbloomer @danielpink @toddwhitaker @dlaufenberg @loswhit @rickwarren
Timothy Drinkwine @drizzinkwine
2012 was more a recognition that PLNs have turned into valuable currency. Then there is the realization that educators have an obligation to share. 2013 should move the needle more in these regards.
There is no doubt that 2013 will be even bigger and better for educators. Keep fighting the good fight!