Reflection Trumps Connection

This month is Connected Educator month. That’s a good thing. I think we need to continue to support the notion that teachers need each other. We now have a myriad of ways to stay in touch with the brightest and best around the world. We can form groups as easily as a click of the mouse. In one might be considered the most challenging time to be an educator, we need each other and often times “each other” doesn’t mean the person across the hall.

Being a connected educator is important but I think being a reflective educator trumps that.  As has often been the case in the past several years, people like Bud Hunt and Tom Whitby, two of the smartest people I know, sparked this post.

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When I think about my transforming or growth as an educator it came primarily because I started blogging almost 10 years ago. The act of writing down ideas, playing with concepts and clarifying my thinking had a direct impact on my work as an educator. Combined with the idea that my writing allowed me to connect with other people made it a home run for me. Blogging continues to dwindle as we promote connection. Twitter seems to take precedence and I understand why. It’s easier. It allows for quick connections to happen. That’s not a bad thing. Connection is important, dare I say critical. And yet…

Where do people reflect? How do they reflect? While I’ve argued that blogging can make you a better teacher,  it’s really about being reflective. I just happened to think blogging is a great way to add the notion of connecting. I also realize blogging is not for everyone. But I do think reflecting is. One of the benefits of blogging is that it makes your thinking visible. Shouldn’t we ask educators be modeling this for our students? Shouldn’t we be doing this because it makes us better?

So if you don’t blog, how and where do you reflect? Twitter doesn’t count. It may spark reflection, as it did for me with this post but reflection is not found in 140 characters. If blogging doesn’t work for you, what does? Is it visible? Maybe November could be reflective educator month and we all share some powerful reflections.

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