Something I have been hearing a lot about is being a "connected" educator. It is important, these days, to have as many resources and supports as possible. I truly believe in this. So it is incredibly important to be "connected". But I would like to talk about something different...I want to talk about "connecting". I believe there is a difference. To me, "connected" means you know people and you know who to go to for what you need...many resources. "Connecting" to me, means relationship building. REAL relationship building.
This past year, I have been incredibly fortunate to make many amazing connections with educators from all over, whom I would have never even known, had it not been through Twitter, conferences, EdCamps, blogging. But what I feel blessed about is the fact that many of these "connections" have actually turned into relationships, friendships.
I often talk about the magic, of Twitter, in particular- it's what happens beyond the 140 characters. It's what is taken "off line" and fostered. Many in my corner, some would say ,are pretty incredible "edu superstars" (and I agree), or some have some fancy titles. But I have had this discussion with each and everyone of them. To me, it doesn't matter in the context of our relationship. This goes for anyone that I have built a relationship with. Titles DO NOT MATTER. They are not what makes a person. What makes a person is their heart, their integrity, their actions. I treat everyone the same...with a kind heart. I respect and celebrate my friends' amazing accomplishments, but that does not play into our relationship. I connect first with my heart and then with my mind. I get to actually know the person and build an authentic relationship. My relationships are built for no other reason, than a mutual respect and understanding. I AM NEVER connecting with someone because of what they can do for me, where they can take me...EVER. Sorry...not how I roll.
I am not one to "name drop" or even really discuss whom I talk with to anyone else (unless that person also has a relationship with us both). These are relationships between us and it works. I don't use these connections to my advantage, unless you call asking for advice or having intellectual discourse, my advantage.
I DO believe it is important to be "connected"- but let's not confuse the two. Both have their place. But I believe we are all better together and I know for a fact that I am better today than I was a year ago because I moved beyond being "connected" to actually "connecting". It's the hard work that helps us grow. We can do hard things when we have good people behind us.
I just hope that I will be able to make some connections with others that will impact them, as much as those that have impacted and changed me.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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