Week 2 Reflection: Professional Learning

Where to even start?!?!

It was a great experience moderating a week-long chat.  And I have to thank Ramsey Musallam for the inspiration via his TED talk: 3 Rules to Spark Learning.

I tweaked his rules to question our own professional learning around curiosity, mess and reflection (roughly).

Speaking of learning, I used Storify for the 1st time (crossed fingers).  Here’s this week’s:

For me, the pace of the chat was a total mind shift from a traditional one.  More think time was a great thing, but retracing the thread of conversation whenever I had a moment to check-in was different.  Rather than Niagara Falls ragging by me, I was paddling up a lazy river, collecting bits of chat here and there.  And like any great party, you run into new friends and old as you mingle through the night… folks dipped in and out of the chat, some for a moment, some for the duration.  The flow was awesome.  And, as I’ve come to love most about Twitter, a healthy mix of professional, humorous and off-the-wall.

As I reviewed our week, I enjoyed Question 2 most, about the mess of learning.  Probably telling as to my state of mind right now.  We’re living in two school years at the front office these days.  I’m like a two-headed Hydra… present and future… it feels pretty messy having a foot in two school years, the present learning and future plans… Here are a few highlights that spoke to me:

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Learning is messy, or at least should be.  Why would it be any different for the professionals than it is for students?  My take-away was to embrace the mess, not fight it, try to find a path through it, but not get discouraged by the avalanche of ideas, reading and conversations constantly threatening to bury me.

I enjoyed this gem from Doug, regarding the reflection question.  As an elementary principal, I work to make PD relevant, timely and impactful.  Even I get caught up grumbling about how it didn’t go as planned, didn’t meet expectations, etc.  I like that he acknowledged this grumbling and used it to move forward.  I will begin to mine the grumbling for these “gold nuggets.”

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As only a #slowchated could allow, a totally tangential conversation erupted on Day 3 amongst the lit teachers about novels, student choice and their own 2-cents on great lit.  As a recovering English major, I loved it!  And Samantha & Peter captured the magic of the sidebar.

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And how great to realize that you can never be “a day behind” during a #slowchated.  It just isn’t possible.  That’s the beauty of the conversation.

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If you were looking for definitive answers here, I’m sorry.  We’re all a work-in-progress.  No guru from the mountaintop declarations or validations or condemnations.  Keep sharing, learning, growing and embracing the mess.  Stay curious (or is that stay thirsty?) and stay connected.

Tag!  You’re it Eric!  @ecsaibel is hosting this week’s chat: Students/Teachers/Admin as Co-Workers.  It’s going to be great!

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