One of the first Twitter chats that I truly felt empowered by was #ecet2, Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching, fortunately funded by the Gates Foundation. I began actively joining this PLN nearly a year ago thanks to Allison Stewart, a fellow Kenan Fellow, introducing me to it. On first impression, based solely by the the name, I thought, “SOLD! A chat all about empowering and celebrating teachers? Can we have THIS chat EVERY night?” What I didn’t realize was how truly impactful this PLN would become.
First. Talk about empowering conversation.
I cultivated a huge desire to advocate for my colleagues when I began to truly understand the systemic issues set in place to initiate “moving-and-shaking” for our students. I decided in my 2nd year that I could either let someone talk for me about the profession, or I could do such myself. I could wait for someone to elevate me, or I could serve my colleagues and elevate them. While intentions are questioned (as they are in any field), my intentions still are to ensure that our profession chooses to see one another as advocates for a common cause. I desire for our profession to choose to be united, and not “competitive.” I desire for teachers to understand that they DON’T have to leave the classroom to be leaders for their students, colleagues, and those who often make decisions for them.
I wanted, and still do, for our profession to begin acting as a true PLN – all with the purpose to better ourselves, elevate and celebrate one another so as to better our students. What is more empowering than setting titles aside and choosing to be pragmatic support systems for one another? (I can’t think of anything!)
The question to me became, “well, who do I reach out to for support in this endeavor? I can’t do this alone.”
While I could elaborate more, I am going to end here and just encourage all connected-educators, if you desire to serve your colleagues so as to better your students, this is one dynamic PLN you must check out!