It ain’t about Twitter. And the power of the #LeadLAP edchat.

“Oh Jeff loves twitter.  He’s the twitter guy.  It must be nice to have all that time to be on twitter.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 7.49.55 AM.pngI hear this sometimes.  It bothers me.  Or it did until I figured out two things.  Well I figured out one thing and reminded myself of another thing.

The thing I figured out was….it’s not about twitter.  Just like when we introduce Chromebooks into the classroom.  It’s not about the device.  It’s about what kids and teachers do with them.  They’re just Chromebooks.  Twitter is the same. It’s not about twitter for me.

Here’s what it’s about. It’s about how I choose to connect myself to ongoing, personal, professional learning.  And twitter makes it so easy.  So easy.  Twitter isn’t the point.  The learning and growth is the point.  So when I’m sharing what I’ve learned, I’m not sharing twitter.  I’m sharing the learning.  And I hope I’m encouraging others to find ways to continue to grow and learn, twitter or not.

I did not know about this when I was a teacher or a principal.  I figured it out when I moved to a leadership role that, by its definition and title, is focused on Teaching-Learning-Innovation.

Which brings me to the reminder part.  The ever present comment about time.  The most common answer/excuse for not doing something in the history of education.  It’s not about time!  It’s about what we choose to do with the time we have.  I have blogged about this idea a lot.

If we decide that to continue to grown and learn is important, we’ll find the time and the vehicle to make it happen.  If we don’t decide it’s important to continue to grow and learn, we will say we don’t have time.

Last Saturday I joined in an edchat with colleagues around the world, using the hashtag #LeadLAP.  Lead Like a Pirate.  I try to hit this edchat every weekend if I can.  It kicks off at 7:30 a.m., each Saturday, hosted by different educational leaders.

This weekend’s chat was hosted by Dr. Lynell Powell.  The topic was focused on supporting students with challenging behavior.  Here’s her first question:

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 7.37.56 AM

This question reminded me of a recent flurry of activity we had been doing in our district around post-its.  Specifically, a post-it around kids making the ‘choice’ to misbehave.  So responded to Dr. Powell’s first question thusly:

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 7.53.08 AM.png

This response led to another response by a new colleague to my PLN:

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 7.37.12 AM

And this graphic, from George Aversano, was the hammer of the entire chat to me.  What a great graphic.  What a great reminder!  Don’t judge a student’s story by the chapter you walk in on.  Be a submarine, not a boat.  Look below the surface.

He’s not giving me a hard time.  He’s having a hard time.

Continuing to grow and learn is a professional, moral imperative.  It’s important and deserves our time.

Thank you Dr. Powell for the great edchat.  Thank you Shelley and Beth for Lead Like a Pirate.

See you all on Saturday!

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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