My First Blog (I’m officially a blogger now!) – Leadership and Reflection

For my first blog entry let me start off by saying that I HATE writing.  Yes it needs to be that strong of word.  I would much rather do math problems, coding, or building robots all day and all night then write a three paragraph essay.  I am hoping that through this blog I will come to minimize the intensity of my dislike for writing and possibly even enjoy it.  I know that reflection brings insight, meta-cognition, and growth and hope that this blog will provide these benefits.  My friend April had the best advice as I was “not” complaining to her about so much writing for my graduate courses.  She said to stop over analyzing my writing as I am completing it and just write like I am having a conversation with another person.  Leave the proof reading and corrections to the end.  I think I’ll take her up on this advice, so I apologize in advance if my blog is too informal.

Last night I participated in the #iaedchat with the topic being “Why Leadership Matters.”  I have participated in quite a few #iaedchat’s in the last few years, but have never truly reflected on what they mean to me for professional development.  The biggest asset they are to me is that they force me to take time and be reflective.  It is through being a reflective teacher that I can determine what my strengths and weaknesses are, setting a road map for my future.  This, in turn, will help me to become a better teacher for my students.  It also allows me to connect with teachers and administrators from other schools across the state (sometimes from other states and countries!) that I would not normally get the chance to network and communicate with.  I find that the most beneficial professional development for me is to be able to collaborate and converse with other teachers and administrators.  I am able to experience both fellow teachers’ viewpoints and administrators’.  Additionally, it is also nice to connect, relate to other teachers, and take time to stop and participate in professional dialog.

Dancing Guy

Whenever I think leadership, I think about the dancing guy.  This is a video that was shown to my school’s staff during a professional development day.  When in doubt about whether I should sit back and be a follower, or stand up and be a leader, I think of the dancing guy.  In addition, I am reminded how it is important to make the best of any situation and to have fun.  If am enthused and having fun, so will my students.  I also think about all the leaders that have supported and pushed me through my life.  Without that influence, I would not have pushed myself as far as I have nor set such high goals for myself.  Reflecting on this fact reminds me that I need to be a leader for my students, to give them both encouragement, support, and a push along the way.

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9 thoughts on “My First Blog (I’m officially a blogger now!) – Leadership and Reflection

  1. I have learned to be a leader from working in retail, working in retail was probably the best decision I have yet to make because it taught me so much about showing up to work every day. Truly showing up, how to work with and lead others, and how to reflect (truly reflect) on my work.

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  2. It has been awhile since I’ve seen the Dancing Guy video! What a great example of leadership. I think we need more teachers that reflect on their abilities and continue to grow and change, turning into leaders themselves. We need to be fearless in our pursuit of the education of our students. More teachers need to stop being afraid of making mistakes, within reason, and try out new things in the classroom. I think we’ve been exposed to many great examples of this as we start to integrate social media into our classrooms.

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  3. I love the dancing guy, too! It’s funny to me that you said you’d rather be doing math problems than writing because that’s the opposite for me (language arts is my subject)… guess we found our correct departments! I always tell my kids who are writing-phobic that if they can just get something on the page, we can work on what they have, but it’s hard to help them if all they have by the end of the assignment is a blank page. Starting is the first step. So you did great! 🙂

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  4. I love what you said about the importance of reflection. I had an ed professor in college who used to tell us that the best thing we could do for ourselves as educators was to sit down at the end of every school day and write down what went right and what went wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t follow that advice nearly as often as I should. This year, though, I have been making a conscious effort to at least update assignments, activities, and lectures each day at the end of the day so I don’t continue to have the same issues and problems with those. I’m hoping, though, that my blog and responding to other blogs allows me time to reflect on a larger scale. What is going well, what is going wrong, and what are the tools and ideas I have for fixing these issues! Thanks for your reflections and thoughts!

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  5. Thanks for sharing the video of Dancing Guy! It’s a great video for leadership and the importance of the followers. I will use it when I get to my leadership unit in Intro to Business and share it with my staff. I liked your statement about being a reflective teacher. It can be difficult for teacher (and everyone else) to reflect on our weaknesses. But knowing our weaknesses will only make us better teachers and professionals.

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  6. I was actually on #iaedchat the other night as well…and then I left to go watch the moon. I figured the moon was a once in a lifetime thing and I could check Twitter when I was done watching the moon, which I did. It looked like there was a pretty good conversation. I loved reading the different opinions and answers of why leadership matters. But I love that you have taken this chat and applied it to your professional life and how this relates to you and your students. Keep being the leader; for yourself, your coworkers, for your students. (And no worries about being too impersonal in your writing. It makes it sound more human, more authentic and definitely easier to read and enjoy!)

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  7. I completely hear you on the writing bit. I was a math and science major for 2 years and then switching to a language major was a real shock to me. The biggest was actually writing about yourself using “I”. Too many experiment write ups made me fear the dreaded “I”. I do agree with your friend though, my husband is an English major so I just write like I am talking and then he helps me with the proofreading after. I find it is easier to get it all down then reread later. Good Luck with all the writing and mistake make it human which makes it more real and relatable.

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  8. I guess I will join the bandwagon, too! I also love the dancing guy. We showed that video last year to our student council (it was actually one of the very first meetings that I was in charge of all by myself). My take home message for these high school students was that we don’t need to have a group of people who are just leaders all of the time. They should never underestimate the importance of that first follower because otherwise the dancing guy just looks like a crazy man instead of a leader.

    I enjoyed your reflections on how twitter chats have had a positive impact on you. Tweetchats are not something that I have ever done before taking this course, but I am excited to discover what all is available out there as a way to connect to others who teach my same courses.

    P.S. I am absolutely with you on being more comfortable doing math problems as opposed to writing (although hate is much too strong for how I feel about writing). I suppose that is the physics teacher in me talking.

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