Thursday, November 21, 2013

Who's in Your PLN?

Jim Rohn was a fantastic speaker, motivator, mentor, and businessman. I have listened to several of his CDs, and I find wisdom in them each time I re-listen to his messages. One of my favorite quotes of Jim's is "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

This is a topic that I have written about and one that I share with adults that I am coaching as well as students at our school. With the adults that I work with, this is one of my topics early on. "Describe the five people you surround yourself with the most." We then discuss whether or not those people are providing a positive or negative influence. With the students at school, I tell them about the quote and ask them to evaluate the types of influence their friends have on them. In all situations, I encourage others to make a conscience choice about whom they spend their time with. 

Creating a Personal Learning Network on Twitter is an opportunity to connect with others who may not be in your neighborhood or town but who are positive people who share your same dreams and goals. Members of your PLN can also stretch your thinking and help your personal and professional growth.

Over the last week my colleague and I, Holly Sutherland, have done three presentations on Twitter and how we use it at our school.  In each presentation, I have shared with the audience that we encourage PLNs that are not "echo chambers" but are filled with diverse opinions, backgrounds, and experiences in order to help us grow. The one thing that I think is important, though, is that POSITIVE people are in your PLN!

I believe that hands-down, Twitter is the best source of Professional Development that I have ever gotten in my career. Much of that is because of the people that are in my PLN. Rockstars who encourage me, challenge me, support me, teach me, and celebrate with me. I'm a better person and professional because of my PLN. 

What about you? Who's in your PLN?


  1. I have two PLNs. I have my Twitter world PLN. Twitter is my go to for ideas about curriculum, school policy, professional development, and innovative classroom design. What did we do before Twitter??!
    My school PLN consists of our school director, guidance counselor, resource learning specialist, school nurse, Religious ed coordinator, and school office secretary. They keep me real. The discussions I have with these people keep me up to date on student stories, parental perspectives and cultural climate of our school. What they share with me forces me to look at the other side. I have learned to talk with people as if I were sitting with them on the same side of the table. I have become a better listener because I can see their side of the story. The people in my school PLN tell it like it is when I need to hear it the most.

  2. Great point, Eileen. I have those two PLNs as well. How great it is that you have people at work that can be honest with you and keep you real. Thank you for your comment!