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Slice of Life 2013

Slice of Life: Thank You PLN!

on December 31, 2013

Slice of Life

I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres at Two Writing Teachers.

On this last day of 2013 I have been busy writing most of the day, working on my Teacher of the Year portfolio that is due in early January. The portfolio consists of several different parts, with questions about my professional background, education, community involvement, philosophy of teaching, educational trends and issues, and what my message to teachers would be if I am chosen as the county teacher of the year. Working on this portfolio has made me think about the things that matter and make a difference for me as a teacher and in turn have an impact on the students in my classroom.

There has been a running theme in my responses —the importance of developing my Professional Learning Network (PLN) and taking responsibility for my own professional development.

My pre-Twitter days consisted of me reading as many professional books I could get my hands on and occasionally finding a blog or two to follow for recommendations. Through my discovery of the EC Ning I began to expand my network, and it was here that I was encouraged to try Twitter. I would have never guessed what an impact that decision would make on my professional life! Through Twitter I have been connected to smart, creative, passionate teachers and writers/readers from all over the world. Right at my fingertips I receive expert advice and suggestions on a daily basis. Twitter chats like #titletalk, #engchat, #mschat have been invaluable to me.

My goal is to try to help connect other teachers in my school and district through social media like Twitter. I have given workshops on how to use Twitter, find people to follow, participate in chats, and ultimately build your own PLN.

My online connections with other passionate teachers keep me energized and enthusiastic in the classroom. I am always reading about something that I want to try out for myself with my own students.

In fact, it was through Twitter that I first heard about the Slice of Life Challenge. This past March I participated in the daily slicing and really enjoyed it. I wanted to try it out on my own before trying it with my students. I hope to slice with students this year!

So on this last day of 2013, I would like to thank all of you who I’ve met in this space, on Twitter, in chats, blogs, and other social media spots, for your contributions to my professional development. I appreciate the ideas, suggestions, materials, and feedback that you offer, and for challenging me to be the best teacher I can be. I hope that my contributions have helped you as well.

I look forward to learning with you in 2014!

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4 responses to “Slice of Life: Thank You PLN!

  1. Ramona says:

    It is great fun to create our PLNs with incredible friends we meet here! You’ll love slicing with your students this year. Thanks for being part of my PLN. And now I need to check out some newTwittter chats you mentioned!

    • gstevens1021 says:

      Thanks, Ramona! Definitely check out the chats: #titletalk (last Sunday of the month at 8pm), #engchat (Monday nights at 7pm), and #mschat (Thursdays at 8pm). So much fun and very informative! Thanks again!

  2. Jaana says:

    I am just discovering Twitter! Participated in my first couple of chats in the last few weeks. Learning so much. When I feel negativity seeping in at work, I turn to online connections to keep me moving and on the positive path! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Happy tweeting in 2014!

    • gstevens1021 says:

      Thanks, Jaana! Yes, when it comes to keeping me positive, Twitter is the place to be. So many great folks to connect with and so many great ideas. Keep up with the chats…they are awesome! Thanks again and happy 2014 : )

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