Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Paying It Forward: The Power of a PLN

Paying It Forward: The Power of a PLN

Do you have a professional learning network of educators you can call on for advice, resources and inspiration? Everyone deserves a PLN as amazing as the one I have been fortunate enough to build. My network includes librarians, teachers, tech experts, principals, authors, and many virtual colleagues. They motivate me on a daily basis and challenge me to be a better person--not just for me, but for the students. As a librarian, I sometimes feel isolated. Since I became a connected educator, I know guidance, support, and collaboration are only a click a way.  Educators across the nation share many of the same challenges, concerns and goals.  Our greatest resource is each other.
Please meet a few of my PLN:

Sharon Gullett has been my teacher, mentor and friend for more years than I can remember. When I was just a shy quiet librarian student, she saw potential in me. Potential I did not see in myself at the time. She pushed me out of my comfort zone over and over again because she knew I would rise to the challenge. Today I speak at conferences, lead professional development, and view everyday as a learning opportunity because of Sharon's influence. I cannot ever repay her, but I can pay it forward to the students, teachers and administrators I come into contact with daily.

Scott Floyd is a true change agent and visionary. He works tirelessly to create an environment whereby students and teachers have the technology resources, freedom and leadership to achieve their goals. He inspires me to make a difference and always be forward thinking.

Nikki Robertson is a rock star librarian and friend. She creates innovative library programs and is a leader among school librarians.  One tweet to Nikki, and we have a whole new adventure-TL News Night. We hold a monthly newscast featuring school library news and in depth discussions with a panel of school library leaders.  The all-star panel includes Elissa Malespina, Sue Levine, Tamara Cox and Shannon Miller. I am honored to be a member of TL News Night Crew.

Terry Everitt is my principal, but he is also a man of character our students and teachers admire and respect.  His motto is, "Make Everyday Count." What a simple but powerful statement.  Our students need us every single day. They need us to genuinely care, provide guidance, and be dependable role models. We never know the day our students may need us the most. Can they count on you?

If you have not taken the time to build a personal learning network, now is the time. Join a network of connected educators! As Helen Keller once said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

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