Digital Leading and Learning

It’s all about making connections

Everything about these videos and ideas hits home for me. I love telling and hearing stories. This is such an effective technique for sharing ideas because it personalizes the topic and appeals to the heart. As an English teacher, I actually teach this with writing. I ask students to begin their essays with something that will grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to use anecdotes in doing so. If they are expected to do this, then so should we!

I honestly think any story structure works as long as it is focused on sharing and not selling. I never realized it before watching the videos, but when people read off their credentials before presenting information as if to prove they are worthy of our attention, it backfires. It is one of those examples where common sense is ineffective. The audience wants to connect, and any method of storytelling will help them do that.

I tell my students that the class is about them and not me. When they get a good grade, they earned it; I didn’t give it to them. The same is true for PL presentations. My role is simply to inspire change, but if my co-workers don’t embrace and apply the methods to do so then my presentation doesn’t really matter. I am the mentor, not the lead character. It’s important to remember that. I need to remember that they are the ones making the difference, and I am simply helping them get there as best I can. That’s how I hope to move people to this new form of PL. I will be available, provide resources, and openly approach conflict with a focus on common interest. It all comes down to the fact that most, if not all, of my colleagues want to do everything they can to help their students succeed. This is another way we can do that because shifting PL sessions will help all teachers learn about important topics, and use what we learn consistently in our classrooms.

These resources really helped me begin to think about “my story.” Since I am the mentor, I want it to be about my audience: the teachers and administration. I want to tell the hero’s journey that we all share in our professions. I believe teaching truly is a calling and is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs available. Highlighting the struggles we face in the classroom and adding the effects of futile PL will provide an appropriate segue into our discussion about shifting all PL. I can then transition into my conclusion by focusing on the turning point of my story- with this new structure, look at how our lives will change. I think that this story will help connect teachers to the message and let them realize that this change really will improve our teaching, our students’ successes, and our overall fulfillment at work.

 

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