When we share our Voice, we take a chance sending out a piece of ourselves without knowing how it will affect others. And that’s the beauty of it! Every day is a PD day. #myPDtoday
While reading through my Twitter feed a while ago, I came across a thread from a man who lost his son and was sharing his story of recovery. The support he was receiving and the positive feedback was uplifting. He shared how the support he was receiving was helping him to work through this difficult time. He was sharing this journey with others who were willing to be part of his journey.
But what’s the point of sharing? Especially when you see some of the negative and disruptive things that are being shared, the misinformation, the hatred toward other people. It’s hard to imagine why people would continue sharing given many of the interactions one sees on social media.
Despite what seems like a constant flow of negativity, developing a Personal/Professional Learning Network – PLN – of people who are sharing the positive, who are supporting each other and lifting each other up is important. In my own research into teachers’ use of social media, one of the factors that participants gave for using social media was because of the deep relationships they developed with others. These relationships supported them during times when they were struggling while also being there to celebrate successes.
Finding Your People
As someone who has been online and involved in social media for over 15 years, I’ve come to understand the power of positive connections and seen the benefit in my own life as I’ve developed deep relationships with others, most of whom I have never met face-to-face. One of these connections is David Truss, a principal in BC. David writes a daily blog post at daily-ink that he shares with his followers. I have had some great conversations with David about a variety of different topics and although we have never met, he is one person that I feel I know because of our online connection.
I believe it is important to Find Your People, those people who lift you up, who give you support but who are also willing to push you to think deeply, who will ask you tough questions and may challenge your worldview. These people are people who are constantly learning and growing, pushing themselves to be better. Many of these people I have met on Twitter through twitter chats like #saskedchat, #NYEDChat, #COLchat, #bcedchat, #DesignedToLearn, #822chat, and others. Although the chats are always informative, it’s the relationships that develop over time with various people that are the real source for growth and development.
Find Your Platform
Twitter is still my platform of choice but I’ve begun using other platforms like Voxer and Instagram to connect with people whom I want to learn from and develop a learning relationship. I’ve always used Facebook as a personal platform and have deliberately kept it separate from my professional. I also use it less for connections. Like anything, it takes time to develop these relationships and it helps if you have someone familiar with the platform to support you as you begin to use it. Having a significant other to help you allows you to grow connections and figure out the nuances of the platform without having to do all of it yourself. Whatever platform you choose, know that there are a great many educators who are willing to share and support you. Be discerning because like all media, there is the negative and those only interested in promoting their brand. Look for teachers who are sharing their work and ideas from their classrooms.
That’s the Beauty
There have been so many of those moments when I’ve shared out something and had someone contact me, thanking me for the share – it was what they needed at that moment.
You don’t know how what you share with others will affect them. That’s the beauty!!