Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Signs of Spring

How do we demonstrate transitions in education? For those of us in the northern hemisphere we begin school in late August or early September and finish in late May or late June. It is always fun to be on Twitter and listening and observing our friends in New Zealand, Australia and China as they talk about tomorrow or the opposite season depending upon their time zone and geographic place on the planet.

There are definite cycles and patterns in nature, and since the brain looks for patterns, we seem to adopt patterns elsewhere in our lives. Religious holidays, seasonal holiday, historical holidays and iconic days. May 4th is designated as Star Wars Day,may the 4th be with you.   I just had to get that in the post!

How do you transition in your professional life? Do you look for patterns? Do you look for mile markers? Do you celebrate mile stones? As we think about this process I want you to project and see if you can make some explicit connections not only to your professional development but also with your peers.

We can take courses and get college credits and then apply those to our teaching certificates. However, recently, we have seen conversations and blog posts about how to apply some of the virtual conversations and learning to our professional certificates in our schools. Here are two of the conversations I have read, Darren Draper, as he talks about OpenPD, and Ernie Easter, who talks about paving the way for some online hours counting for Professional Development at the Seedlings Ning.

At this point in time, there isn't a one size fits all way of applying our online learning, our non-credit learning to our professional plans. But you will hear many people state that the time we spend online , conversing, learning, sharing has more impact than some of our recent conferences, workshops and college classes.

So, adopt a new cycle or pattern, be explicit in celebrating your mile markers in learning new ways of teaching, celebrate your  milestones and your new found connections you have made with others. Months ago I posted "Vote me off the Island" as an explicit way of looking for connections with professionals outside of your building. Had I not expanded my network I wouldn't have read or shared Ernie's or Darren's blog posts.

My cycle of new learning:
Read blog posts, comment on blog posts, ask people for help with my new learnings on Twitter and Skype , as well as attend conferences, and SHARE and have CONVERSATIONS with others. Then CELEBRATE and start AGAIN.

What is your cycle of new learning?

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