It has been a week since I returned from the most uplifting professional/personal development event I have ever participated in – Unplug’d 2011.
In the week that has gone by I’ve immersed myself in the afterglow of the event through sharing with the Uplug’d crew on twitter and flickr and even occasionally on ds106 radio. I have made sure to read all of the reflection blog posts that I’ve come across and I have spent a lot of time pondering the event and what it means for me.
I learned so much about the people behind the pixels during the three days we were unplugged. The time and opportunity to share stories, songs and food led to a deeper connection which makes their work in all facets of education so much more real and inspiring.
I learned that very different people gathered from this incredibly large country can come together and work collaboratively. I learned that everyone has a story to tell and it is okay if telling your story makes you vulnerable.
I learned that while reflection is an important component of learning, real growth in learning comes from turning reflection into action. Thinking about something and writing about something are good – but acting on those thoughts and words leads to real growth and real learning.
When one is the ‘official spokesperson’ for a public education organization it is important to be clear when you are expressing your own personal beliefs. I have never hesitated to promote 21C learning as it is a component of my District‘s focus on the future, nor have I been shy about increasing parent involvement and student voice in our system. But most times I stop short of openly advocating for the transformative change I believe New Brunswick should be pursuing – and that just isn’t good enough for a ‘change agent’.
So now what? It is time for me to take the next step – to push publish on this piece and begin to find ways to express my beliefs through actions and to inspire more citizens to get involved in shaping the future of public education in N.B..
I encourage you to read the Preface and Chapter One of “Why _______ Matters” and share with me your thoughts.