This morning I lamented as I told my husband a story of discouragement, one where good work was not inspired, but instead a "check the box" mentality existed. I noted that I need encouragement to teach well, and he responded with a vote of affirmation for my professional connections via the Internet and elsewhere, connections that help me to elevate the work I do.
As I thought about his affirmation, I realized that in the last few months as I pushed into the classroom and focused on specific teaching goals, I had lost track with my many sources of Inspiration, sources such as #satchat, #edchat, @thejlv @chrislehmann @pammoran and more. I recognized that while I had attended a few professional events this year, the events weren't targeted well at the need I have to develop my practice with like-minded and strong-minded educators--the kind that make me think deeply about what I do and why I do it.
Then I thought about an event that's coming up this week, The Teacher Collaborative's first Educator Exchange, an opportunity for passionate and dedicated educators to gather and discuss what's really important to them, a chance to encourage each other and urge each other forward in ways that matter. The Exchange will be led by two dynamic, energetic, experienced educators--people who have taken the time to listen to educators and find out what they need so that they can teach better and serve children, families, and colleagues well.
I share this thinking as you may want to get involved with the Educator Exchange, and you may also need to revisit your professional connections and the time you spend nurturing your craft and feeding the knowledge, energy, spirit, drive, and passion you need to teach well. To teach well is a multidimensional endeavor, and taking the time to consider all of those dimensions is essential to developing your craft in ways that matter.