PLP journeys come in all flavors and sizes. Cary Harrod from the Ohio Consortium discovered year two to be the time she could put all the pieces together.

“Year One has so much new,” she said. “In the second year, I’ve been immersed as a learner again. One of the more rewarding pieces of my educational career has been to put myself back into the place we ask our kids to be.”

Her PLP journey has changed her as a person, she said. “I see everything as a puzzle. This year was different because I was much more reflective and transparent in learning. This year I am overcoming that hurdle—with the community.”

At first, Cary said, teachers worried about the risk in “putting ourselves out there.” But for her, the response has been “overwhelming.”

“The part I was missing earlier was that I needed to learn from others. This year I saw that piece.”

Her work as a Fellow meant overseeing the Forest Hills Schools, all of which worked on different types of projects. The Elementary Team developed a plan to study whether they are truly transforming their classrooms into 21st Century places of learning. The high school team shared their thoughts on action research, helping us all see the value in transparency.

Even time, the ever-constant challenge all PLP-ers face, proved to be a problem she could solve. Cary decided she “wasn’t going to be a prisoner” to time. Managing her own job and several teams meant she had to find balance. And she did.

“Participating in year two really helped put the pieces together,” she said.

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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