Starting tomorrow, I have New Teacher Orientation (and it is my birthday, I honestly could not think of a better way to spend my day!!). I am beyond excited to learn all about my district, their expectations, etc. Then, the following week, I have even more professional development offered to all teachers. Within two weeks, I will have six days of what I know will be amazing PD and I am so excited to learn, learn, and learn some more. Today I am going to write about the professional development that I have been participating in since January. I do it right at home and I do not even know how many hours I have spent learning.
I began my Twitter journey three times. At first, I made a personal twitter account thinking all we could do on twitter was tweet random thoughts/updates (anyone who follows my personal twitter sees a lot about The Bachelor/Bachelorette ;) ). Later, in September 2013, I began a class at Rider University called Social Media for Education taught by an amazing professor, Dr. Michael Curran (@mgcjusa - follow him!). It was an incredible class and I learned so much about how to incorporate social media and technology into my classroom. We had class every Monday and our homework always included tweeting just ten articles or quotes about how to use social media/technology in the classroom. That was my first step into this amazing professional twitter journey and I have already thanked Dr. Curran for introducing me to it!
Then, in January 2014, during my winter break, I decided I was going to make a real, professional or "teacher twitter" account. After getting my feet wet in the fall, I was itching to get more involved in a world I only got a little taste of. I wanted and needed to learn more. I have learned an immense amount in my education classes at Rider and in my practicums but I still felt like I could learn more - and wanted to. I could not believe all of the different educational chats there were! I found an excellent link that is very helpful and lists all of the dates, times, and hashtags for the different chats (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiftIdjCeWSXdDRLRzNsVktUUGJpRWJhdUlWLS1Genc#gid=0). I put them all into my calendar and my phone will remind me 15 minutes before each chat so I can run to a computer / grab my iPad.
In comparison to the professionals that I am interacting with, I truly am (maybe even less than) novice. However, I did acquire a lot of knowledge throughout my time at Rider and shared that information as well. It was amazing that people with so much more knowledge and experience were liking what I had to say! That gave me more confidence as an educator and made me even more willing to continue with my professional twitter journey.
I cannot put into words how much I have learned from these amazing PLN members of mine (my goal was to build my twitter PLN by 100 people a month. Now it is August and I am proud to say that I have exceeded my goal by 600!!) The chats we have are incredible and they share so many thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that I would have never thought of on my own. I have a little notebook that I keep by my computer and write down all of the suggestions that I am given. I hope to be as wise as you all are one day and just know that you all have impacted me as a teacher and as a person.
There have been many people who have offered their email address, documents, and time to help me. It amazes me how willing my PLN is to listen to me and support me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! They are so open and I am so happy for their students because they are truly in good hands with these educators.
In just a few short weeks I will officially begin my journey as a first year teacher. I cannot wait to share what I am learning by actually being immersed into my passion.