Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stepping Outside our Comfort Zone

On Monday nights, I co-moderate a Twitter chat along with Holly Sutherland, another administrator at our school. 

This past Monday night's topic was titled, "Risk-taking for Teachers is Scary. Is Failure an Option?" (Read the chat archive here: )

It can be scary to step outside of our comfort zone and take risks because those risks might lead to failure. Here's what some of the tweet chat participants had to say in response to the question, "Why are educators afraid to fail?"

Taking risks is scary!!

As school leaders and especially leaders with our technology initiative, Holly and I try to be as transparent as possible. We believe in the importance of a culture where teachers feel "safe" to take risks and experiment with technology. 

One of the ways we try to promote this culture is by modeling our use of technology and by risk-taking ourselves. For example, we create a Fun Fact Friday video each week that usually includes a tech tip as well as a funny (well, we think it is!) video clip.  

We poke fun of ourselves in the videos, and it's scary to create the video each week.... wondering if others will think it's stupid or irrelevant. 

Our BIG risk involves a party we are hosting soon. When we started our Alabama Education Chat (#ALedchat) on Twitter, it was scary because we wondered if it would turn out like the episode on the Brady Bunch where no one showed up for Peter's birthday party.

And now we are taking it to the national level. We believe so strongly in the power of PLNs and Twitter for PD that we want to unite the state chats in one special quarterly chat called #USedchat. It's going to be Monday, April 22 at 8:00pm CST. We've invited everyone we know, and we're hoping at least a few show up. 

That same night - prior to the twitter chat - we're hosting a Parent Twitter Night in our school library where we'll teach parents how to use Twitter. After the parent session is over, we've invited teachers at our school to join us in the school library for a 30 minute training session at 7:30, then to stay for the Twitter chat where we will host from the library. Teachers will earn PD credit, enjoy snacks, and have fun fellowship with their colleagues in person and online.

Needless to say, 

we are nervous. 
And excited. 
And energized. 

We know where the fruit is.

Won't you join us?