Last week I wrote a post about comments being the real conversation online and I set myself the challenge to reach out to people who shared stories that I connected with. It was a really interesting exercise and I have to say that my thinking on the situation has most definitely developed as a result. In this post, I am going to share why I chose each post.
The first post that got my attention was by my good friend Aaron Davis (@mrkrndvs). The post was titled Leading by Learning – Building a Hut and I was drawn to this because I am often frustrated with the unwillingness of some teachers to lead the way with learning. A teacher’s influence in the classroom is significant and a teacher needs to be willing to show students how they make connections, work through challenges and reflect on their learning. Aaron and I regularly chat through social mediums on all things education and these interactions led to some real defining moments for me. Through a Voxer conversation, Aaron raised the point that maybe the lack of conversation on blogs nowadays has more to do with the massive range of sharing platforms that are at our disposal these days. I then drilled down into the “why” of my previous post and I wrote it because my learning is crying out for more conversation. Lurking is perfectly fine but I guess I’m ready for a little more. Below is what I shared with Aaron and his response to me.
The next post was Dan Rockwell and jumped out at me because I’m always trying to improve as a leader. Dan’s post was titled 7 things successful leaders ignore and it resonated with me because it was so succinct, practical and affirming. Negative self talk creeps into my head like any other leader and Dan’s tips were simply fantastic.
Next up was another great chat with the LearnEnabling crew and a great discussion with Nick Jackson (@largerama) and Ian Guest (@ianinsheffield) ensued. The comments are often as long as the original post and I have really learned a lot from engaging with the conversation. This post was written by Nick and was titled “A blank canvas”
The next post is from a blog that I hadn’t come across before and it struck a chord with me because of the rawness shared. Tony Sinanis is a Principal in the US and in his post “What’s the point?”, Tony shared a conversation that he had had with his son. In this conversation, his son Paul questions the point of school and I think he is speaking for a large majority of our student population. We are doing school to some people and we need to ask why and we need to change.
A stable in my online reading is Greg Whitby’s (@gregwhitby) blog, Bluyonder. Greg challenged educators to break new ground and to not simply just patch an old tired model in his post Improvement is no longer the challenge. Like Greg, I too have been looking outside education circles for inspiration and get really tired of the same old same old conferences and symposiums.
My last comment for the week was in response to a great post by Greg Miller (@gregmiller68) titled My dream school. In this post, Greg dreams of a school that any learner who love to attend. His manifesto should form a blueprint for a new model of schooling and I implore you to read it. The last three posts that I chose to comment on really connect nicely around the question “Why school?” and it is a question that continues to stir me.
Reflecting on the week, I really felt that reaching out and extending the conversation helped the post stay with me for longer. Normally the interaction is fleeting but reading and responding requires a deeper engagement and this was great.