Letting Go…

I must admit that I have been writing this first blog post in my head for several months and for many reasons, many of which you may have experienced as well, I  kept that post to myself.

As an e-Learning Contact (eLC) for Superior-Greenstone District School Board, I have had many amazing opportunities to witness the positive impact that technology has in both the  classroom and on professional development. I admit, despite my role as the eLC, I am fairly new to the idea of introducing various forms of technology into my daily life, but I realize the substantial impact that technology can have on our professional development:

  • Online collaboration
  • continued lifelong learning
  • “connectedness” and digital skills
  • expansion of learning networks

But what was holding me back?

  • Time?
  • Loss of privacy?
  • Inexperience?
  • Frustration with technology?
  • Fear?

Yes…to all of the above. When I attended the Digital Learning Forum at Humber College in 2012, I had the opportunity to meet individuals who passionately incorporate technology and Blended Learning into their lives and classroom and in turn, support us with their sharing. I was introduced to Mark Carbone (@markcarbone) and he asked me for my Twitter name and I stated that I was not on Twitter and he asked me “why?” I stated that I didn’t think I had anything of value to add to the world of Twitter. He simply looked at me, and said that this meant I was a “thoughtful person who would have great things to say when I found my voice.”  It was a wonderfully patient comment. Although I am sure that he does not remember the previous exchange, it had a lasting impact on me. Fortunate to be at the ECCO conference in Toronto this year, I realized the professional growth I missing out on by not having a “voice” on Twitter and with nervousness and trepidation I launched myself into the Twittersphere and “found my voice”. (Perhaps not as profound as Mr. Carbone suggested it would be, but it was there!)

Within a year, I find myself faced with trying to find my voice again. I have read the books, taken the courses on modeling the skills we want in our students and I encourage  educators with taking professional risks in their daily practice and yet, I stand quietly on the sidelines cheering like mad, while finding excuses not to take similar risks.

I consider myself very fortunate. I have had many opportunities to study and have achieved my PQP II and I have had many leadership opportunities within the SGDSB. I have mentors and role models such as @NIckMC40, @dfryed, and  @bgrasley who encourage and support me and who I can watch, in awe, as they demonstrate their passion for teaching, learning and sharing-every day. I am surrounded by colleagues who are also on this learning journey with me:@ColleenKR, @TL_Stevenson, @lcosta_miller and JMarciski to name a few. And yet, I hesitate…

What did it take to take this “leap of faith” and submit my first blog post? A little bit of everything. Setting aside time to learn something new, opening myself up to the world a little bit more, and perhaps a lot of fear. As we know, fear can be a great motivator. I have watched and read many of my fellow SGDSB colleagues admit their fears to all, face the challenge, and experience and the #etmooc journey without me. I fear not being on this journey with them, and fear that one day I will simply give in to my fears and stop taking risks.

So…..knowing that this latest professional and personal risk will be both messy and rewarding and before I back out once again, I will leave  both you and I with this quote:

“Fear is a wild horse that needs a tight rein,

for it is both friend and foe,

both good and evil,

and to live effectively one must learn to master it.”

-Wifred Peterson

 

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5 thoughts on “Letting Go…

  1. Stacey,

    I think this is a great blog post. You DID find your online voice – nicely done. This process really is a journey, and you have obviously taken many positive steps along the way. I look forward to reading more as you find time to share more of your learnings and reflections.

    I hope to see you at the eLearning event later this month.

    ~Mark

    1. Mark
      Thank-you for taking the time thread my initial attempt at blogging. I look forward to seeing you again in Toronto. Your kind comments at the DLF last year resonated with me. A simple,kind comment from you, in passing, but it stayed with me as I wrote my posts, in my head, for the past year!

    1. Thank-you for taking the time to read my entry. My reflection is key to my growth on both a personal and professional level and I do it a lot. I just need to make it more visible. I am in awe of so many blogs that I read. Lots of great examples for me to learn from.

  2. This post might be instumental in giving me the courage to actually make my thinking visible in a forum greater than our DSB forum. As I read your words, I reflected on my personal problem of practice; practicing what I preach. As a district, we have been running parallels between the conditions for learning that must exist for both the adults and the student “learners” to maximize their experience. Two of these conditions, RISK TAKING and COLLABORATION (vs cooperation) I need to practice more, model more and explore more as a learner…to give myself voice and credibility.

    SOOOO…before this weekend is out, I will take a RISK and post my thinking to a public forum…to this forum. I am currently posting my thinking to our internal D2L site…either through reflection or documents that I have created…but will expand the nature of my COLLABORATION to a greater audience. I will likely post about learning and the nature of learning, as this is my daily passion…but by doing so, I will expand the formal of the learning to beyond the physical.

    Thank you Stacey for making your journey visible and for inspiring me. I will conquer the fear of misunderstandings, challenges, protocols! And to other learners as well who are posting on this …your thinking is pushing me!

    Nick

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