I’m a bit of a binge-learner; I love to stumble upon a new subject area and research it to death until I feel like I’m an expert on it. In the last few weeks, my obsession has been circling around the idea of “growing up” as a teacher. I’m in my 4th year of teaching, and while I’m privileged to daily go to a job that I truly love, I still question what it’s all about for me. Every day, I press my students to push themselves to work harder and harder and reach higher and higher, but what about me? I’m currently in a Masters class that is, frankly, not challenging me to be a better teacher, and I’m (strangely) one of the most experienced teachers at my school, so being mentored doesn’t really happen. How, then, should I grow?
That’s the big reason that the concept of Professional Learning Communities struck such a great chord in me. I see so many people on Twitter talk about the benefits of Professional Learning Networks (the digital version of PLC), and I’m so jealous. I’ve tried to break into conversations with other teachers on #edchat and #engchat (without much response), and while it’s something I’ll continue to do, I’d rather work with and compare notes with my TAPA colleagues. So, a few weekends ago, on a nice rainy Friday, I sat at Starbucks and learned everything on allthingsplc.info. As I read more and more, I realized that PLCs were exactly what our school family was missing.
I believe in God, and I believe that God is always looking out for me, even before I know what I want. As proof example #4,525, without having talked to anyone beside my wife, I was asked to present to fellow teachers what I learned from my study binge. Below (and here) is the link to that presentation. It was received pretty well. 🙂