I recently joined Twitter (how many blogs start like this I wonder?) and discovered a lot of things and in fact it was a bit overwhelming to say the least.  At first, I was joining to see what it was all about, then I found it was a great place to find resources, especially for technology, then I discovered it was a place of collaboration and learning.  I stumbled upon #4thchat out of luck one night and felt this was going to be my “circle” and I found some great people to follow, great ideas to borrow and great blogs to read!  One thing about blogs of these amazing teachers and principals I noticed was they were all talking about things I was interested: projects, learning, collaborating, and the education system.  Beyond that there was always this element of personal reflection.  I consider myself a conscientious educator, I think I reflect, but after reading some blogs I realized I did the “in my head version” and there is something to the on paper/online version I was missing in my professional practice.  There was also this sharing that happened with ideas, projects, community that I was missing in my school and in my professional life. Twitter was giving me my missing PLN, but I was not giving myself the personal reflection part. But then I came to the question of “who really cares” what I have to say, or what I am doing?  There is obviously already amazing people blogging, sharing projects that I am borrowing, linking sites that I am marking, so what do I have to offer this world of the PLN that is not already being done and probably being done better?

One of my favorite songs came into my head “You only get what you give” by The New Radicals. (I am linking the video just to practice YouTube video link here ) and I thought maybe I don’t have anything to offer the great people who I follow or whose ideas I am using, but maybe I have something to offer myself, or a group of newer users than myself.  PLN is professional learning network, learning and network to me mean its an input/output model.  You get good ideas, but you need to put in something too, whether its questions, comments, thanks, or even sharing something you may be using that everyone else already knows about but are nice enough not to mention they have been using it for six months already.  I also remembered that within my PLN maybe I am the voice for the urban educator, or the voice of the struggling educator, etc.  I also want to give more to myself.  I see the interest on my students’ faces when they look back at their learning from the beginning of the year and see what they have done and how they have improved, maybe this is my way of having something to look back on.  If I am going to push them to learn and grow, then I need to push myself as well.  As I ask them to integrate more technology and writing, then so should I.  Summer seems the primetime to start so I can look back at a full year of myself from summer PD through year-end.

Reflection has been a word on my mind a lot due to my yoga practice (this just lost all my readers I am sure) and how this practice is started with an intention to set a focus, spending the hour focused on the intention and then ended by reflecting on it.  My blog idea is to be more intentional with my professional reflection and growth and hopefully add something to the world of education, even if it is just to improve what I am doing in it.