Those who know me understand that one of the things that drives me is that I’m competitive. Sometimes that trait draws me into wonderful opportunities, and other times it can cause some serious consternation. After accepting A.J. Juliani’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge, I’m about to discover just what kind of adventure my competitive nature has gotten me into. To seal the deal, I’m putting it in print — my goal and commitment is to write 300 words a day and post at least once a week. Let the learning begin . . .
There were two thoughts that stayed with me today after an early morning perusal of email and Twitter. One was Bill Ferriter’s post on New Year’s resolutions, and the second came at the end of Seth Godin’s post “The Candy Diet.” In Ferriter’s blog, he talked about an important shift – from one in which you learn from people to one in which you learn WITH people. He went on to talk about the importance of asking questions, making connections, and starting conversations. I like this phrase — to “spend time wrestling with and responding to those ideas.” Reflection and conversation are such powerful ways to continue to grow as a professional, and I’m constantly learning from my secondary teammates as well as from masters like Penny Kittle, Cris Tovani, George Couros, Doug Fisher, Suzie Boss, Linda Darling-Hammond, and A.J. Juliani, to name just a few. I’m grateful to each of them for the questions they pose, the conversations their words ignite, and the insights they offer. As I write, my goal will be to summarize those ideas and put them in the context of possibility for teachers. To stay true to Bill Ferriter’s challenge, those ideas now must become an integral part of conversations with colleagues and not merely words in a blog post.
Seth Godin adds another layer to the challenge of thoughtful writing and influencing by asking people to use “precise words, employ thoughtful reasoning and ask difficult questions.” The outcome of that is to hopefully “lead our way back to curiosity, inquiry, and discovery.” These are lofty goals, but they’re certainly worth striving for.
To colleagues who are only a cubby away to the people in my PLN, I’m looking forward to future conversations and opportunities to collaborate. This new year, what difficult questions will we answer together? And how are you using your words?