That same connecting with others, which has made me more confident and successful in my role as an instructional leader, can benefit teachers and other administrators as well. As a matter of fact the term instructional leader is now an outdated term for me. I recently read a blog post from a member of my PLN, and he used the term "Lead Learner" for his role as the principal of an elementary school. Joe Mazza has been a cyber mentor for me for a while now, but when I made the connection to that term, it really struck a chord with me. I find myself in a constant state of learning. The systemic model of continuous improvement has been personalized thanks to the collaboration now possible with social media networking. Of course if you are reading this blog, there's a pretty strong chance you are already a "Connected Educator" and are well aware of how it has benefited you as an educator. The conundrum comes in the goal of expanding the idea of connectedness to other teachers that haven't braved the social media networks available to them yet. How do we break through that fear they have? How do we help them find the time that connected educators appear to have in abundance?
None of these answers are easy, and maybe more importantly to recognize is that the answer may be unique to each person and situation. I think the key is that you use patience, persistence, and share the positives that can come from the connections you make. Most of the great ideas I have shared we never created by my sole insight. They have come from the collective conscious and experience of various people I have met, physically or digitally over the years. Curt Rees is a fellow Wisconsin principal that I have followed for some time now, and I have gained many insights from over time. I have enjoyed reading his blog and found a video he shared that also summed up the idea of learning from the collective conscious of many.