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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lifelong Learning: Leading by Following

This post is week 4 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators from hotlunchtray.com. Find out more by clicking here

Here is a thought I have as I sit down to write this post: Can we be a leader without being a follower? 

I think of many of the professional leadership opportunities that I've had over the last several years: instructing PD sessions, coaching teachers, consulting administrators, writing blog posts, engaging in twitter chats. None of those things are possible if I am not following the work of others. 

A few years ago, I began training in a program called eMINTS. At first glance, eMINTS is looked at and described as a program that teaches teachers how to effectively integrate technology into their classroom. Similar to other professional development groups, eMINTS places you in a cohort. You become part of a family of educators. eMINTS also teaches you about the importance of setting up a PLN, (professional learning network). 

Once I began to develop a PLN across Google+ and Twitter, my leadership opportunities grew exponentially. Why? Because I was able to follow the lead of so many educators across the globe, and bring it back to those around me. The funny thing is, at the time, I didn't realize that I was being a leader. I thought I was just sharing things that I had learned. 

To this day, that is how I continue to lead; by following. I enjoy seeing the work of others, and sharing that work. This process causes great dialogue to happen between myself and my peers.

I don't just follow the lead of those who post things on social media, it's also important for leaders to follow what is going on in the school around them. I try to visit classrooms often to see the work that is going on in the building. I invite teachers to share their work with me in person as well. As great as it is to share strategies and ideas that I see on media platforms, it's even better to share things that are happening right here at home with others. 

There isn't a way to be a leader with out being a follower. 

2 comments:

  1. Yes. I agree! I followed a similar path of always learning by following the learning and sharing of others. You've made a clear description of why to build and grow your PLN -- to apply in our own situation and share back.

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  2. I enjoy Twerload since it is logical to discuss content as soon as you can get maximum benefit and that time it's possible to secure more sharing too.

    In addition, I'd like your idea of Using Canva to make shareable Infographics. I concur that people share images more often than written articles.

    Thank you for writing this article. Its very valuable.


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