I didn't start my career as an educator. I was a scientist. I studied cell growth and sequenced DNA. In my last semester of college (as I was deciding where in the field of research science I woud like to go), I participated in a program where science majors taught hands-on science in Atlanta public schools (ESEP - which has since been expanded and is still going strong). I didn't realize it then, but this was truly my first opportunity to participate in innovative education. At the heart of this innovation? Connecting. Connecting those doing science with those introducing it at its most basic levels in order to educate and excite students about the possibilities of science. It was then that I became interested in education.
The biology degree was followed by an MAT and teaching experiences in grades 5, 4, 2, and 1. I took more classes, tried out new techniques, collaborated with colleauges. With each new experience, I realized how much my peers and I learned, and how much better we became at our chosen vocation, by working together. Our face to face connections, the basis for developing ongoing collaborative relationships with colleagues, was invigorating and purposeful. It was then that I became an educator.
As my role in education has evolved, so too has my "connectedness." Through Twitter, emagazines, blog posts, Hangouts, and a plethora of other online resources, I have immersed myself in the offerings and potential of a digital world of professional development. I am connecting with an even wider array of experts and colleagues in my field than when I started with ESEP. I am conferencing and collaborating with learning partners across time and distance more effectively than during my initial classroom teaching experiences. And why? Because I am most connected to the concept of lifelong learning. This connection, and the drive to inspire it in others (with the help of an impressive array of technology-based tools), is how I have truly embraced being a Connected Educator.
I'm an elementary school teacher turned professional learning/edtech coach, avid reader, and lifelong learner. For 2018, I've set the goal to create a 6 word memoir for each week to find my voice, reflect on my own professional learning, and set goals for how my learning will impact my practice.
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