PD in PJs

I have spent the last two Saturdays the same way.  I was making banana nut waffles and growing professionally in my PJs.  How you ask did I manage this?

Last Saturday, I was actively following the tweets of EdCamp Tampa Bay.  I jumped into a Blab, hosted by Sean Gaillard and Natalie Krayenvenger to learn more about Podcasting.  I even asked a question and became more involved with the group.  I also enjoyed all of the Periscopes from the event.

This Saturday, I used some of the same tools to be a learner at What Great Educator Do Differently in Chicago as well as EdScape.  I got to hear some of the openning and closing speakers.

So what?

To me this is HUGE!  Why?  Now I am not limited by my district’s budget or my personal budget.  I also am not limited by my Mommy guilt.  I am only limited by my desire.  I now know that I can add things to my toolbox without going to a conference.  Does this mean I won’t ever go to a conference.  No!  I just will be more selective about what I attend and how interact digitally.

Here’s my list of my favorite tools:

  • Twitter
  • Blab
  • Periscope
  • Storify

So get out there and try something new.  Location and money are no longer valid excuses for not finding your tribe.

A special thanks to my tribe that lives their PD lives digitally so I can stay in my PJs.


Listening-Setting Goals

A few weeks ago I was coaching a teacher at the same time I was being coached by another coach.  Our feedback session of my coaching brought up a need.  I jumped right in and tried to solve his “problem.”  Of course, this is not an effective way to coach.  I know this and this is not what I try to do.  I fell into a trap because I stopped listening for understanding and started listening for my response.

I relate this story to you because on Thursday a teacher leader related an area of concern and I jumped right in started to tell her how we would solve it together.  I thought it about it the next day and quickly sent a note to let her that I just want to listen and help her reflect what happened.

Then yesterday, I was voxing without truly listening in the way I usually do.  I just wanted share where I was at instead  of listening to add value to others.

Then last night, I was reading Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell.  He also talked about his challenges with listenings.  I realized that his list consists of my three areas of need.  I listen because I want to respond and say my piece.  I interrupt and I want to hear only the things that reflect my vision.  What to do about this?

I am setting a goal to listen more effectively.  I will start by being quiet and not interrupting.  I will try to add value to that person and not try to make myself look better.  I will request the honest feedback instead of framing the feedback.

Connected Educator Chat

Last week I did the most exciting thing ever!  I moderated the first twitter chat for my district.  It was fast moving and exciting.

I, of course, planned it with my partner in crime @JenVanFleet.  I have always loved how @conniehamiltion organizes and makes a great graphic for her #TMchat.  Jen used that for the framework and this beauty was made.


Of course, what really made me nervous was it just going to be Jen and me tweeting back and forth.  I wanted educators who may have never been in a chat to feel welcome as well as find a reason to join in.  I hoped that the conversation added value to each person involved.

I reached out to my buddy @smgaillard who moderates several amazing chats.  He gave me some key advice and of course I followed it.

  1. Schedule your tweets about the questions and answers.
  2. Enjoy it moves fast.

In the end between the two times, we had about 10 people interact, but I am positive that there were people just watching.  I loved that both chats had different people and different points were brought up.

As always, I thought about how I could improve it.  I feel need to think about my answer and other answers before I decide on a question.  A focusing question that I will use is How will this help the educator become better?  Otherwise this chat becomes one more thing someone has to do and that is not purpose.

Want to read about what happened:

Storify AM edition

Storify PM edition