I recently shared the following thoughts in my weekly Monday Memo to staff:
The topic of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to be topics of discussion throughout the educational arena. As many of you know, I felt a obliged to try and expand my professional learning network last year to help me develop as an educator and as a leader in order to help support you and our students in the learning process. One way I did this was by connecting to Twitter. In doing so, I felt like I was able to have access to a plethora of resources and other educators eager to learn and share like myself. As I reflect on my journey three things come to mind. One, I felt a strong sense of renewal to my profession, both as an educator and as a principal. Not only have I been able to learn from others, but also contribute to others by giving back of my time and resources, which in turn helps our profession as a whole. I feel like I have been able to give back to this profession, a profession which has been so good to me over the last twenty plus years. Two, it has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge which I hope will lead to more opportunities to teach. Like many that go into administration, the hardest part was leaving the classroom and realizing my opportunities to make a daily impact on students would now be much more limited. In many ways, it has been the hardest transition for me personally because I have always seen myself as a teacher. Lastly, it has allowed me to expand my circle outside our organization to others who desire to develop meaningful professional relationships in order to do the best work possible for our students, staff, and community and who understand the complexities of the principalship. The truth is being a principal is a lonely profession, and only those who are principals, are able to understand what it feels like to have that sense of responsibility on our shoulders every day, every evening, every weekend, 365 days a year. Expanding my SM network on Twitter has provided me with a means to increase my content knowledge and to use what I have learned to contribute beyond something that is greater than myself, provided me an opportunity to teach again, and allowed me to connect with others who understand my world and give me strength to push forward. In short, it has given me hope and a renewed sense of purpose.