Archive for category Connected Educators
I call myself a Lead Learner. Yes, I am officially a PreK-5 principal, but what I do is lead learning. But what does that mean?
In a recent email from an anonymous colleague, I introduced myself as the lead learner of East Side Elementary School rather than the principal. In the response at the end of the email, this individual asked, “Would you clarify the role of the lead learner.” Well of course. So here was my response:
I haven’t heard back as of yet, but wanted to meet and talk about it further about my journey as a lead learner. As stated, this is a shift in philosophy and a new way in looking at school leadership. Michael Fullan has a great visual noted here:
Move from principal to lead learner. Build the professional capital of your staff. Give them the autonomy and the power to make decisions that are best for kiddos. Bring in your parents and systems not only within the the school, but throughout the district as well as the community and region. And let go of, “But that is the way we always did it.” That is not change leadership. This is not easy and believe you me, I have a lot to do, but in the end, it is best for kids. Isn’t that what it’s about?
I thought I had reached the pinnacle of using social media with embracing Twitter, Google+, Google Hangouts, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, you name it as professional development tools and to create a robust PLN. Folks in my PLN from the southern island part kept saying to me, “Vicki, get the Voxer app. It is cool.” I got it. I “voxed” back and forth with a few folks. To me, it wasn’t much different than the “WhatsApp”. You talk and it relays a message to the person who has the app on their phone or who has it in your contact list.
Well, I was blown away this past weekend. I was driving down to New Jersey, stressed, going from one pressure cooker to another. My buddies and sisterhood, Christina Luce and Lisa Meade were coaching me while I vented first through twitter, then moving to Facebook messenger to make the conversation more private, then to Voxer and then to a scheduled Google Hangout because I had to have a sisterly chat! (There’s something about 24/7 PLN! What a pick-me-up after a stressful day!)
Christina put out a tweet about joining a Voxer book chat on Eric Sheninger’s awesome book, Digital Leadership. I was already enrolled in the #SatChat book chat on Edmodo, but wanted to give the Voxer this a whirl.
Boy, has it been a whirlwind and an AWESOME tool. Allison Petersen set the group up and we have just been chatting, posting, talking, about the book, change process, and everything under the sun. This past Sunday was the kicker. I heard the “bleep bleep” of my phone going off. It was like a wake-up call, calling me out of my slumber and saying, “Come to VOXER and join the conversation, Vicki!” (Yes, you can silence your phone, but why?) Anyway, Brad Curie started it, and then the conversation just flowed. I am not sure if it was because it was the weekend, or if some of us were on the beach, relaxing, (Not me, mind you) but how fun to get a message and not be limited to 140 characters. You can talk and it will record and send it to the folks in the chat!
I was at my nephew’s baseball game – bleep-bleep-bleep. Someone posted a picture of text and then used the text feature for their thoughts. Bleep-Bleep- Bleep: Someone recorded a short thought about change leadership. ( I posted a picture of route 81 North because I was driving and jealous of folks on the beach or folks out of school. (We have to go to the end of June in New York.) I did put the phone away, because I was getting strange looks from folks around me at the baseball game.
The most powerful thing I am experiencing is the connections, relationships, and the powerful conversations we are sharing over a free tool, and I even got to “meet” new folks who are passionate about education. It’s also the beauty of having a PLN 24/7, from my “New York sisterhood” to the new PLN folks that I have met on Voxer.