I’ve had this blog post brewing in my head for some time. How many times have we said or heard someone talk about the need for students to take charge of their own learning? I have personally heard it more times than I can remember. In the past year, I have spend much more time utilizing social media to connect with other professionals in my field. Specifically, I use Twitter, Google Plus and follow some bloggers on a regular, almost daily basis. It is difficult for me to quantify how much I have learned from others this past year. My professional learning network (PLN) only included the people on my campus prior to extending my circle using the social media tools I just mentioned (I got my YouTube likes here). I have met people (in the virtual world) and a few in person, from all over the world and have had the opportunity to chat with authors, field experts and educators. It is very likely that these opportunities would have never taken place had I not made the decision to taken action. I have learned more by connecting with others using social media than I ever have by participating in any traditional form of professional development.
Now please allow me to ask you a question. Who is responsible for helping you develop professionally? Is it your principal or your school district? We ask our students to take responsibility for their learning all the time. Now it is time for you and I to take responsibility for our own professional growth and development. Growing as a professional is our responsibility and duty. We can no longer rely on others to make all the professional development decisions for us. I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and start to connect with other professionals in your field that share your same passions. I promise you will not regret it and you may even meet some really interesting people along the way!