Being new is not easy.  We see it in our classrooms, we see it at our jobs, we see it out at social events.  I was never the new kid at school, I did K-12 in the same district, only ever was new at University with thousands of kids in the same boat which to me doesn’t qualify as “new.”  As I logged on to twitter today I noticed a post by someone I follow, @s_bearden, noted about tech snobbery, written by Angela Watson.  And I thought, that is so true!  This post was more about implementation levels and tech but it reminded me of the other snobbery I had been thinking about.  People are here and everywhere to learn and we should’t be putting up our nose to those who are further behind.  Especially as teachers, what would you do if your students acted this way toward a new student, how would you handle it? We should also be remembering what it feels like to be new at something.

I remember back to when I joined twitter and I literally thought I am not going to post anything I am just going to leech off people’s work and ideas.  Look at me now, involved in chats, commenting on people’s posts, blogging for goodness sakes!  But the first time was scary.  I was lucky to have my first comments with a group of people who were/are inviting, warm, friendly, understanding and really true to the “learning” aspect of the network.  They are learning, but they also realize so is everyone else.  They mentor and I have to assume “remember” what being new is like.

Now I could list all the great people who reciprocate, help, guide, work with others regardless of level of implementation because they are by far the majority.  I don’t have enough space to list them all here.  These are the people who follow you back,  thank you for your input on their tweets, who answer yours when you put them out to hashtag or group.  But there are a few who are turning their backs to the circle and just working within “their” PLN and not the greater PLN.  To them I ask you why?  Why are you above it?  Why are you being a snob?   Now hey, those people probably (definitely) are not going to read my post because I am not friends with their friends and they don’t tweet out my blog because of it.  But maybe as a tweet by Chris Lehmann tonight applies to the PLN as well, “Our waitress joined in our design discussion tonight. Lesson – be open to ideas and expertise wherever you find it.”

So you may not think someone’s tweets are valuable until they are at a certain number of tweets, followers, lists, etc.  Maybe you think grade levels, subjects, geographic location matters to the relevance.  So maybe your circle is complete, you and “your” PLN are satisfied and happy with what you are working with, but maybe you are missing out on some of the ideas and expertise that are being offered by some of the “New Kids” in the PLN, and maybe in turn you could offer them some of the ideas and expertise you have to share.

Advertisements