I find that more and more my professional development comes via Twitter. The professional educators I follow (as well as some folks not technically in the education business, but who write about thinking and doing) are amazing identifiers of meaningful content. From their feeds I see links to articles and blogs that provide me insight, inspiration, and ideas. Among those I follow, there are a few whose blog posts I always look forward to reading. My top three include a teacher in my district, a ToSA just up the road, and a daring librarian across the country.
Diegueño Middle School teacher Jacquelyn Karney’s blog http://mrskarneysenglishblog.blogspot.com/ never ceases to make me smile. A great example of a passionate teacher’s foray into online communication, it is part celebration, part confessional, and part handbook for new teachers. My favorite line of all time came from a post on school projects, when she said “What really gets my goat is that teachers say to use things you have around the house for the aforementioned projects. We have lots of dog hair, leftover lasagna, and dirty laundry around the house. We do not have a Costco sized case of sugar cubes, we do not have pipe cleaners, we do not have clay, we do not have lion figurines.” Wit and wisdom in equal measure.
Wit, wisdom, and technology find a home at http://sduhsdtech.blogspot.com/ my district’s edtech blog, managed by Teacher on Special Assignment Kevin Fairchild. Collected here are smart posts on everything from “Cell Phones in the Classroom” to the folly of “Locking Down the Browser” during tests. Go back a bit on this blog and you’ll find some thoughtful entries from teachers from around our district. Keep up with it, and you’re sure to come away with something you can use.
For inspiration and good humor, I turn to http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/ whose blog is consistantly delightful and provides me with both hope and perspecitve. Writing from a middle school in Maryland, her take on schools and schooling pushes me as a principal to think, see others’ points of view, and celebrate the great things happening on my own campus.
I wish I could make two of her posts required reading: “How to Train Your (New) Principal” captures the spirit of a new principal coming to a school. As a fellow who has done this twice in the past two years, I can say from experience that I’ve always been thankful for the teachers and staff who have brought to life the advice she provides.
Her post “The Art of the Follow” is a marvelous primer for any educator thinking about her digital footprint. It’s one I wish I’d happened upon earlier in my Twittering life, but things happen as they should, so maybe it’s simply my job to spread the word that this is a great resource for up and coming Twitterbugs out there!
Taken together, these three bloggers provide a great example of what’s right in education today. Honest, passionate, and clever too, these voices for hope make my professional life richer every week and inspire me to add my voice to the greater conversation.