By Dean Shareski

Entering year two as a Community Leader working with the Tri-State PLP, I’ve noticed a striking difference in the level of conversations that are already beginning.

Sheryl and Will kicked off part of this group of teachers on Sept 22nd and in just under a week, it’s evident that people are anxious and willing to step out and learn. For those unfamiliar with the format and process, PLP uses a closed NING as an initial starting point for discussion and conversations. The intent is allow people to experiment, ask question, develop relationships and get comfortable before possibly venturing out to a global community.

My take was that last year fewer teachers were engaged early on and the level of discussion focused on skill development. While this will also be a component, there is a much greater desire by participants to understand shifts. I’m not entirely sure why this is the case but I’ll speculate on some possible reasons:

  • Robin Ellis. Robin is now supporting all Community Leaders and has helped take the load off Will and Sheryl in working with several cohorts. Robin is a wonderful person to work with.
  • Experience. I can’t speak for Will and Sheryl and the others but I since we all have the philosophy that we are learners, it should follow that we’d get better at what we do.
  • Community. Having been privileged to spend time this summer with many contributors to PLP, it was a great opportunity to develop relationships with great people. This in turn helps me understand the work that many do and roles become more clear.
  • The World. I’m finding that the impact of shifts and change on the rest of the world is becoming more visible and mainstream and thus conversations about how this matters in education is more apparent.

There are likely more reasons and this indeed is my perspective and experience. But what this means is that we can get closer, more quickly to seeing changes in our schools that will ultimately help students. That’s the reason we do any of this.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by shareski

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Dean Shareski

Dean Shareski is an author, educator, speaker and coach. He taught K-8 for 15 years as well as 8 years as Technology Coordinator in Canada. He has supported the PLP network at various times over the past decade. He also served supported Community Engagement and Principals for Discovery Education throughout North America. He has over 12 years of experience in online instructional design and teaching. Working, teaching, learning and living online gives Dean a unique perspective at this moment in time.
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