Do the long days of March ever get you down? Take a few steps to fuel your own learning, build your teacher tribe for inspiration and arrive at the start of Spring with a fresh outlook!
Share your reading life. Do you have stacks of to-be-read books reminding you to find the time to read them? You know, the piles of magazines not yet read, the stack of novels waiting on the bedside table and the professional books yet to be opened? Make time to catch up on your reading, but don’t stop there. Instead, share your reading with other educators online. Create a profile on Goodreads and update it regularly. Post the books you are reading on social media and ask for new suggestions. Connect with other readers and gain inspiration from their own reading journeys. Not only will you benefit, but your students will love seeing the archive of your reading life too!
Develop a writing habit. Why should teachers write themselves? Simply put, we cannot expect to be effective writing teachers unless we are writers ourselves. Writing offers teachers the chance to reflect on their teaching lives, helps us better empathize with our student writers and even provides mentor texts to share with students. Start small and pledge to write one sentence a day in a calendar, a challenge you might also share with your students. Buy a journal and dedicate 5 minutes a day to simply writing about what you see around you. You might even join a writing group for inspiration. Want to take it further? Reflect on your own teaching and learning and share your writing with other educators online.
Develop your social media profile. If you have not yet realized the professional power of Twitter, then make it your goal to learn more. To begin, view the free Twitter for Educators course through Heinemann to harness the power of social media for teacher learning. Create a profile and follow those that inspire you. Make a pledge to scroll your Twitter feed daily for ideas and inspiration. Like posts, retweet them and eventually, share your own ideas with the world as well. The professional power is contagious.
Follow teacher bloggers. One of the most enjoyable times of my professional day is quietly sipping coffee in the wee hours of the morning while my children are sleeping. I browse my favorite blogs and read for inspiration and teaching ideas. I recommend that you use a curation tool, such as Bloglovin, to help you get organized. Bloglovin curates the blogs you follow and delivers a daily email to your Inbox with the latest posts from each of them. My customized email arrives at 7am each morning with new updates from my favorite teacher bloggers. Take a look at the blogs I follow and then go ahead and give it a try!
FInd an Edcamp or #CoffeeEDU. Edcamps are free events developed by educators for educators. With no plan other than to share our teaching practices and learn from each other, educators gather together and create an agenda for their learning. Check out The EdCamp Foundation for more about how they work and how to find one close to you. #CoffeeEDU is an unconference designed to expand your PLN through 1-hour sessions at a local coffeehouse with other interested educators. Check out the #CoffeeEDU website for more information. Then, head to Twitter to look for #coffeeEDU sessions already planned or go ahead and start your own! Choose a date, time and location. Share your plan on social media and post a sign on the table for interested teachers. You might be surprised at who you meet and what you learn!
So, go ahead! Meet March head on and fuel your own teaching mind and spirit!