Just read a powerful post on Connected Principals written by Shawn Blankenship. In his post, he discusses what principals can do to possibly become an instructional leader, rather than just being thought of as an evaluator, which would be The Ultimate Gift. Many quotes throughout the post got me thinking, but here are 2 of my favorites:
Once they [teachers] establish a PLN, they will be spending more time with people who are always thinking and who invest much of their time in learning. –sblankenship
I know that Ann and I find inspiration within our PLN every day. We are inspired by thoughts, ideas, and suggestions from people around the world. Many times we forget that there is a whole world of experts out there. It is necessary to proactively find information to support our own professional infrastructure and promote our own personal growth. Does this mean that we spend less time collaborating with our PLC? Absolutely not. The purpose of a PLN is to support our own PLCs goals to positively affect student learning.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. –Albert Einstein
I loved this quote for so many reasons. Blankenship talks about the importance of actually putting the knowledge to use. Studying information and facts does not make you an expert. Applying the knowledge and showing evidence is the key! Isn’t that what we ask of our students? Don’t we ask them to demonstrate their learning? Isn’t that how we measure true retention?
I have always been a reader, but I cannot say that I’ve always “used” the information. But now I read with such purpose. Ann and I can barely get through a few chapters in a new PD resource before we begin implementing strategies, observe success and student growth, and then refill our cart (she with Amazon, and me Barnes!- see we are different J). Our brains never get a chance to be lazy because we are so energized by thinking. We research with intention surrounding our personal/professional goals, but the application piece has been the key to our success this year within our program. It is important to us to model the learning process for our students. And I am excited to share this quote with our students once returning from break!! I can’t wait to hear their insight into its meaning…
Thank you, Shawn, for an inspiring post…