I just realized that I've been blogging for more a year, though there have been some significant gaps during busy periods! Over the summer and through next year, I hope to be more consistent with blogging as I find that it is a great source of professional growth and often connects me to educators I wouldn't meet otherwise. Through Twitter and this blog, I have been influenced by many amazing educators!
Last summer, I wrote this post on changing assessment practices. Since then, it has circled through the Twitter world quite a few times, received hundreds of hits, and was recently published in the BC Teachers of English Language Arts journal. It is a reflection I keep coming back to as I continue to examine my assessment practices and I'm glad that there are others who are asking the same questions. Without social media, I may have felt like I was one of a few teachers questioning widely accepted assessment practices but, through messages that followed, I realized that I was one of many. As well, through this post, I explored the dilemma I see many teachers facing regarding "presentation" versus learning in course assignments. Again, it connected me to other teachers who were thinking about how and why we assess. It's been great to engage in conversations with others via Twitter and e-mail after posting my rambling thoughts online. In addition to discussing these things with a small group of AMAZING colleagues regularly, the conversation has extended to include experienced and wonderful educators I have never met. Technology is pretty great!
While this has been a crazy year, it has definitely been my best year for professional growth. I've learned that my most significant professional growth always comes through collaboration and discussions. This year, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers formally and informally through a variety of different professional development opportunities in my school and district. As a student in high school and university, I always hated "group work" assignments but, now that I am surrounded by people as passionate about good practice as I am, working together is the best experience possible! It's amazing how my views about group work changed when I began working with others who share the same goals!
I'm happy that I've been able to collaborate, through this blog, a few wikis, and Twitter, with so many amazing educators and look forward to continuing this growth in the years to come! I'm so grateful for my in-person and online PLN!