Thursday, September 25, 2014

Connected Responsibility

(Photo shared by Phil Armstrong)

For much of my blogging life this has been a public place that has served a private need. I write, I reflect, I post. That is that. Sometimes people comment (not often), and once in a while someone will mention my blog in a tweet. It always makes me feel good and connected to my PLN, but it is usually just a fleeting moment. I move on to the next blog post whenever the mood strikes and all is well in my blogging life.

Today, a colleague of mine passed me in the hallway. We exchanged good mornings and pleasantries. As we parted, he said, "You know, you haven't blogged in a while..."

I was speechless. In my real-life world, I talk a lot about social media and connecting, but I don't share the social media space and digital connections with very many people in my school. The fact that a person that shares my daily space was actually aware of my blogging habits really made me stop and think about my responsibility of being a connected educator.

As a connected educator, I try to weave my daily teaching experience with that of like-minded people around the world. In thinking locally and acting globally, I am able to bring the story of our learning, my school, and Baltimore to so many that would otherwise never know what exists in our classrooms. In return, my students gain perspectives and ideas that greatly outweigh the single-focus I provide them.

This comment today made me reflect on a different responsibility of connected leaders. There are people that rely on us to tell the story of our kids and our learning. We must remain a constant force in empowering others to be voices in this story, but we have made that commitment to share. If we stop sharing, people notice. In some cases, pieces of their own voice get lost.

So for me, I must begin to realize that the story I tell is not singular, but a collective story we all own. It is selfish to only share when it feels good or when I want to. If I am to truly be connected to others, it must be a consistent effort that rises above some of the individual difficulties I experience with inspiration, time, and effort, in order to ensure that the community I am helping to connect is able to share their voice.

Share big. Share freely. Share now. You never know who is missing your voice.