Finding My Focus
A recap to reconnect: step one was commitment. In reality, I have started way more projects than I have completed. My curiosity to explore, learn and grow always leads me to something I have never witnessed or experienced, which must be added as a tool in my personal depot. I graduated from a tool box along time ago. With that being the case, there is a long list of past visions and missions I do hope to one day complete. Hence, step one is commitment.
Step two is to find my focus.
As an educator, we find ourselves in the nested system of education without clear direction for our personal professional growth. We are exposed to professional development opportunities offered by our district. These opportunities focus on "how to's" in our current position and "this is new to the district" with our current content. This focus is on the now. However, I always feel like there is more out there. I can do more. I need to do more and try more. I feel like my talents and interest are all over the place, refusing to fit into a box. I have a sensation to reach out and see how others are doing the "it" and how I can adapt "it" to what I do. I know there are opportunities dangling from a stick for me to grab out there. I just do not know where to look.
After spending just one day at the SXSW Edu conference, it was enough to jump start my willingness to fail. Yes, I said willing to fail. I have accepted that my fear of rejection and failure keeps me from venturing off the porch to play with other educators in the virtual world of academia. I sat in on three different panel discussions, visited with vendors who had curricula to sale to teachers (who have never taught) and I witnessed two presentations for products to stimulate student engagement and mastery of all academic materials. Yes, there is a small hint of sarcasm in my voice.
What I walked away with was two great inspirations. The first was confirmation from two presentations that supported digital portfolios for students. This alone can be a blog by itself. So, I will revisit it in the future. The second and the most influential panel I experienced was the Digital Diversity: Minorities in Edtech #digidiversity. This panel was comprised of four well established minority women; Cori Coburn-Shiflett @coburncori, Rafranz Davis @rafranzdavis, Shelly Sanchez @shellterrell and Sarah Thomas @saradateechur. This sixty minute session felt like it lasted all of fifteen minutes as a result to the passion that was shared by each of the panelist based on personal and professional experiences.
My biggest take away was don't sit in the back of the room quiet. Let your voice be heard. Your voice matters. Hence, step two. I have to find my focus. With my talents dipping into to so many arenas, I am searching for the point of intersection. The moment when all of the light is focused into a laser beam of power. This is my current journey and prayer. Finding my focus will point me in the correct direction for this journey. I know through collaboration with the people of my PLN, this journey will be well worth the effort. I will contribute to the positive change that is moving in the atmosphere of education. I am committed and finding my focus.
Step Three is coming.