Professional Relationship Building….

Constant learning, no matter your personal or professional life, is a must! I was fortunate to attend #edcampiowa this past Saturday. It was a great day being with like minded professionals who want to better their instructional practice. Many of the sessions were topics that are current issues involving good instruction, technology and most importantly building relationships with colleagues and students.
Relationship building is a key component. Starting those professional relationships with each other then expand to our students. They see staff working together and hopefully in turn they see how it can benefit them when working with their peers. This sometimes comes to a stalling point however, when we start to feel too comfortable and don’t allow or push ourselves to expand our comfort zones. I think we are all guilty of this. Sometimes we may have a personality conflict with a colleague, sometimes we are not even on the same page, so how do we resolve that? Many times it takes a lot of hard work and personal reflection on what YOU can do differently. If we expect or assume that it is the other person’s responsibility  to change we are in for a rude awakening.

Professional relationships have expanded to online venues as well. Twitter is an amazing tool that has allowed me to widen my professional relationships without meeting in person. Following other professionals through Twitter chats not only broaden my horizons professionally, but now gives me another resource to tap when I have a question or need help with something.

So, how can a person work on relationship building with their colleagues? I have found a few sites that give some tips.

9 Habits of people who build extraordinary relationships

10 Tips For Building Strong Professional Relationships

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Frenzied rush to winter break!

The month of December can be the most enjoyable or the most miserable for some. It all depends on how you handle it! Are you easily stressed about minor things? Does the hustle and bustle of shopping, candy and cookie making along with all of your work responsibilities overwhelm you? If it does then you are not alone!

How do we stay sane? How do we handle the pressure? It is not easy. I am fortunate to have great friends who help me by reminding me to focus on  the overall picture and not sweat the small stuff. For me this is my toughest challenge. How do you cope with the craziness of the season?

Love it when you realize that you thought your blog posts posted and you find them in drafts!

Teaming is hard!

Sometimes being in a leadership position is tough! There are growing pains as you work on the process.

What is a Team?

From: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadtem.html

“A team is a group of people coming together to collaborate. The purpose of collaboration is to reach a shared goal or task for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. A group of people is not necessarily a team. A team is a group of people with a high degree of interdependence geared towards the achievement of a common goal or completion of a task, rather than just a group for administrative convenience. A group, by definition, is a number of individuals having some unifying relationship.

Team members are deeply committed to each other’s personal growth and success. That commitment usually transcends the team. A team outperforms a group and outperforms all reasonable expectations given to its individual members. That is, a team has a synergistic effect—one plus one equals a lot more than two.”

As I reflected on the definition above it allowed me to really think about the teams, to which I belong, and the role that I play within those teams. Am I doing everything that I can to hold others accountable? Are others doing the same for me? Am I deeply committed to the other team members personal growth? Am I committed to making the team process work? Am I willing to challenge others to think in a more positive way? Does it aid in their growth?

The second paragraph really resonated with me. Can we really call ourselves a team based on the explanation above or are we just a group performing tasks and checking boxes on our “to-do” list? Do our teams have the synergistic effect? If not, how do we get to that point? It might be lots of dialog varying opinions expressed, discussed and considered. It might be some

Building a true team takes time. It takes a lot of work on the part of the members that make up the team. It is the responsibility of those individuals to make sure they are truly committed to the team and the other members of the team. Team building is a tough process, but in the end the benefits are amazing!

A new blogger…..

Hello All! I am new to this whole blogging scene. I have read and followed a lot of blogs, but never thought I could blog myself. I didn’t really think I had much to say, let alone people who would want to read any of it! Thanks to gentle nudging from a few colleagues I decided that I would give it a try.

A bit about me. I am in my 25th year of teaching. I started out as a Special Education teacher and realized at year seven that if I didn’t work on a Master’s Degree if a different field of education I would not retire from education. I then started a three year journey to completing my Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from the University of Northern Iowa in the spring of 2000. All of the teachers in our cohort were full-time teachers already in classrooms.  This degree was so new that the state had not even written comparable endorsements for our licensing! Soon enough it was decided that we could take an additional 20 hours to complete an endorsement in School Library Media Services. I have been a Teacher-Librarian at Davenport North High School for the past 15 years. This year I added a new half-time role of Technology Integration Lead Teacher, so I am half-time in the library and half-time working with teachers and students on technology integration.

My goal with starting this is to blog about the cool classroom things that are happening with technology integration as well as to share tips on various technologies. I have had a Twitter account for a few years, but really wasn’t on it much. With my role change I often tweet and join various chat groups. I have discovered a whole new world that I have excitedly shared with my staff! One of my six roles as a TILT (Technology Integration Lead Teacher) is to provide Professional Development to my staff. I have done this for many years as a Teacher-Librarian, but now it is much more concentrated effort and some of my release time allows me to experiment and work with new programs, apps and technology, so that I can then share with my teachers.

So welcome to my first blog and special thanks to those that gave me the nudge! I think this is going to be an exciting adventure!