Why I use Twitter…

http://technorati.com/
http://technorati.com/

At some point this year I set the goal of writing on my blog at least once a week.  That is a difficult goal when balancing work and family, but writing is something I enjoy that allows me a creative outlet for my thoughts.  Lately though, I have been to my blog, but feel like I have writers block. When this happens, instead of writing on my blog I will spend my free moments searching around on twitter, reading and sharing. I have a bit of an obsession with Twitter if you ask my husband.  As I sit listening to the wind howling today, searching around on twitter I was thinking about what twitter has added to my professional and personal learning.

One year ago 3 of the teachers in my school had the opportunity to attend #educon conference in Philadelphia.  It was exciting for us to be able to send them there because most teachers in our school division do not have the opportunity to attend big conferences such as this.  They came back with many great ideas to share and prompted all of us to start using Twitter as part of our daily routine in the school, in our classes and in our professional lives.  We spent time as a staff learning from them how to set up a twitter account and  getting some suggestions as to who to follow.  We set up a school Twitter account and starting sharing with our parents through Twitter.  Each of our classrooms have a twitter account and many share classroom happenings on a daily basis.  It has been a great communication and collaboration tool for our whole school.

These are the reasons why I use Twitter

  • Twitter is the best professional development I have been involved in for a long time.
  • It allows me to follow my interests, passions and interact with people similar to me.
  • It allows me to share my ideas.
  • It helps me answer questions.
  • On a daily basis I am able to find ideas and links that help me be a better teacher and administrator

@PrincipalSmart

Designing My Own Life Plan

It is amazing what a break can do for attitude and rejuvenation. It has been a stressful fall term for a number of reasons, but sometimes I think I can get caught up in a circle of negativity that can be difficult to break. Having the opportunity to remove myself from the school over break has allowed me to reflect on the reality of my circumstances.

  • I love my job.
  • I have a fantastic, creative and innovative staff.
  • I have a strong supportive admin team with my vice-principal.
  • I enjoy my students and am glad to be back in the classroom.
  • I have a large group of hard-working and generous parents.
  • I work as part of school division team that challenges me.

I came across an article posted on twitter over the holidays, written by Franchesca Warren, titled “Taking the Bitterness Out of Teaching: Four Ways to Find Your Professional ‘Breath of Fresh Air’.” In the article she describes a similar mind frame to mine before our school break. It is easy to get caught up in the negative things that are going on around us. Most of these things are out of our control and it does not really matter how much we complain about them or to avoid them, the reality is they exist.

In the article Warren includes the following quote:

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. Jim Rohn

Five years ago my family made a huge change leaving our family farm and a teaching position I had been in for 20 years and relocating to another province. Our  children were fantastic at making the adjustment to a new school and community and the move has been positive for us all. At the time of our move I was very ready for a professional change and felt I was being overcome by the negative things in my professional life that I could not control. Looking at the move as a fresh start I vowed I would not allow myself to get into that negative frame of mind again.

Taking time to reflect has made me realize the importance of designing our own life plan. We cannot allow things out of our control to proliferate and overwhelm us to the point they are controlling our lives and not us.

As we start a new year, and start back to school after winter break, it is the perfect time to design a new life plan.