I was fortunate to attend two learning conferences this school year, the first being the 21st Century Learning Conference (21CLHK) and the second being the annual ACAMIS conference. Both events offered a variety of sessions that were led by teachers and administrators. What impressed me though was the amount of sharing that took place in these sessions.
For example, I attended a session titled “Fish Bowl PD: Professional Development That Works”. The session was led by Ben, Steve & Art, three guys passionate about technology and professional learning. During their presentation they shared a PD model that they had developed over a period of years. It covered topics such as rationale, resources, evaluation and marketing. It was very comprehensive and the best part was that they shared every aspect of their model; resources, templates, forms… everything! I was blown away by the fact that I had a wealth of information that I could take back to my school and incorporate into our professional learning model.
My experience impressed upon me the importance of sharing and how sharing can have a profound impact on the teaching profession. The notion of sharing is getting a lot of traction these days as noted in this video by Dean Shareski:
In this video Dean discusses the moral imperative of sharing and how we all have the ability to share. The key point though is that sharing has to be seen as something “necessary to do” rather than something “nice to do”. This recent blog post further supports the notion of sharing by teachers. In it the author states
“(i)t is now an expectation…no, a responsibility that we all have to write, to blog, to post, to tweet, and to share our thoughts, our expertise, our successes and failures, and our collective knowledge about what is working for students and for schools”.
I consider myself a “sharer” and I’ve subscribed to the “pay it forward” mentality. Early in my career I benefitted from teachers who shared their ideas, resources and experiences; without their help I don’t think I would have survived. Even now I depend on others for inspiration and ideas; these help me to grow and develop. When I present at conferences or in-house, I always share my resources. How about you? Do you share with others? Are you connected to teachers who readily share with others? I certainly hope so!
[Photo credit: Got Credit]