Yesterday I considered my place in the edusphere. Mostly I am committed to the grade-level students, families, and colleagues I work with daily, however I also share my work and thoughts via social media too.
Long ago I began sharing my educational thinking and work when I was seeking a broader educational group to share with, learn from, and gain support. On many occasions, many from the greater edusphere reached out to support me with good ideas, advice, and connections. That support truly helped me to grow my practice in many, many positive ways. I definitely became a better teacher and advocate for what is right and good in education over time.
I continue to consult the educational landscape as I continue to teach and develop my practice. Though unlike days in the past, I don't have as great a need to reach out beyond the school house these days as I have a strong support team there and a wonderful established PLN online. These support teams lead me to good books, research, conferences, and connections. We have many positive projects in the works and a positive team approach to teaching the students within our charge.
Unlike some in the edusphere, I've chosen to keep the bulk of my work local--to serve and work with the people at my school and in my state teaching/learning community. There have been opportunities to grow my practice outward, but due to my desire to be close to home and to commit to parenting and teaching, I've not embraced those opportunities with as much commitment or dedication. Sometimes, however, I do feel that urge to move beyond the local arena, and that's one reason why I blog, read, research, and write daily.
None of us can be in all places at once. To be a dedicated school teacher demands considerable time and effort. There isn't much left over to grow your practice beyond that environment and love and care for a family too. That's one reason why people have to make choices about where they'll invest their time and energy when it comes to teaching well.
The same is true in most professions--people can't do it all so they have to make choices about where and how they'll invest their energy. Those choices will change from person to person. As we choose, however, we have to be respectful and supportive of all the roles that support the work we do. For example, we could not teach well if we didn't have all the other integral staff in the school, staff such as office personnel, lunchroom workers, teaching assistants, custodians, nurses, and grounds crew. It takes all of us including numerous roles to support a successful school system.
I'm sure that most educators often consider their roles in the edusphere as they continue their careers--it's important to do that. That consideration has to include the respect for all the roles you don't choose, but that you do need--roles that include those who commit to the greater educational environment, educational leaders, researchers/writers, technologists, teaching assistants and so many more. Onward.