Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Contributing to the Conversation

In Never question your power… from Blogush, Paul Bogush writes,
“… I want to leave you with the words Linda Nitsche wrote to me today–” We all have amazing things to share and ideas to move change forward. Never question your power!“ Please take a leap of faith today and join one conversation, make one comment, write one tweet or plurk one response to someone. Never question your power to make a contribution.”

I always am so inspired when I read this blog and when I saw the title of this post, it jumped out at me. In fact I thought about it all day before I sat down to write this myself.

When I started connecting with others about a year ago, I felt very intimidated and basically scared to death. I started out reading other people’s blogs because I decided I wanted to blog but wanted to see other examples. I loved what I was reading and was inspired from reading other posts. Yet, I was too scared to leave a comment because I thought that no one would care what I had to say and I was afraid that everyone else obviously knew so much more than I did. Then I joined Twitter and people were actually asking me questions. Now if that doesn’t make you want to run and hide, nothing will. Suddenly I was no longer anonymous and others could “see” me. Of course, my husband says that I could talk to a brick wall, so I bit the bullet and jumped into the conversation.

From there I started to check out live webcasts and adding to the online chat. I really enjoyed real time conversation with others and started to learn more and more. When I didn’t understand something, there was someone right there ready to help me. I also loved the rich conversations that took place and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

The more I interacted with others, the more comfortable I began to feel in my own skin. I started to actually understand myself better because these conversations made me reflect about my own philosophies and teaching practices.

When I started getting people responding to what I was saying, I was astounded. Suddenly people were interested in what I had to say and willing to discuss issues. I didn’t mind if people disagreed with what I was saying because sometimes it made me rethink about what I had talked about. At times, it changed the way that I thought and other times, it helped me clarify what I stated. Suddenly I’m exchanging ideas and strategies with other teachers. My classroom techniques were so much more enhanced by this exchange.

For the first time I found the power of my thoughts and words. This was a wonderful feeling and I truly recommend it to anyone. I believe that this helped me be more successful in the classroom. If you haven’t tried any of the things above, please consider taking a step in that direction. Please join the conversation, whether it is with colleague in your school, in your district, in your state, or around the world. One step will eventually lead to another and then you will never know where you end up. What an adventure!

Original image: 'making their points . L1059717.jpg' http://www.flickr.com/photos/19251296@N00/2255468498 by: Susan

5 comments:

TGrant said...

I am just starting with blogging and connecting with others. I can relate to the feelings of being intimidated and wondering what I have to add to the conversation. My goal is to enhance my teaching skills and begin to add new techniques to my repertoire. I'm taking small steps and, hopefully, in a year from now I'll see great results.

j4luck said...

Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement to get into the conversation.
I read several veteran teacher blogs because I want to educate myself as much as possible for my future career, but as a student, I often feel inadequate to comment or share my thoughts.
I guess that I forget we are all in the process of learning, no matter how experienced, and I might have something to offer that I don't even realize.

Maupin House said...

Hi, there! We're a new follower, here at Maupin House . Your blog is great -- we're so glad you jumped into the world of blogging. We'd love for you to join our conversations (http://blogspot.maupinhouse.com), and we hope you don't mind us staying involved in yours.

-Maupin House Publishing

loonyhiker said...

@TGrant Thank you so much for commenting. The more you do, the easier it gets. Good luck with your blog!

loonyhiker said...

@j4luck I really believe that everyone has something valuable to contribute. I like to see if I agree or disagree with the writer and then tell that writer why I feel that way. When people do that to me, it helps me clarify my thinking.