In addition to my fantastic job-alike group, the other learning network I have discovered this year consists of my colleagues in my immediate proximity in Central Office. My boss (the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction), two administrative assistants, and I share an office area at the end of a hallway, slightly removed from the rest of Central Office. The three of them have become the most powerful support team I could ever imagine! They have been responsible for helping me learn and grow leaps and bounds this year, and I am so grateful for each of them.
Between the three of them, they have helped me navigate the culture and relationships in my new role in central administration. Countless times, they have kept me from making major faux pas (and when they can’t save me in time, they are endlessly forgiving of whatever messes I manage to make). They have been my teachers each step of the way, as I learn this job. I could write a novel about them, but I’m kind of tired.
So those are my professional learning networks this year–a job-alike group that helps me explore new ideas and share successes, and an office group that guides and supports and laughter. Each network provides doses of professional learning and personal connection that together lead to my growth and development as an educator and PL coordinator. My goals for the year to come are to maintain and continue developing these networks, and to reach out further for my own professional learning–to social networks, perhaps, or by getting involved in state or regional professional organizations (if you have suggestions for me, please share!).
Last July, I wouldn’t have recognized either of these networks as a form of professional learning. What a difference a year makes!