It is true. In the last few weeks, I have not been engaged with my digital community. I have been busy with family excitement and planning. One of our sons is getting married in June, and there are all sorts of details to be arranged: food and tents, transportation and flowers. While I shifted my extra energy in that direction, I wasn’t really aware of how connected I had become to those with whom I follow and who follow me. The energy I usually directed towards my online community simply hasn’t ben available for all of the conversations and connections in which I am normally involved. From spending time each day on Twitter to taking part in #edchat, I just did not had the mental space to learn and change. That others would notice reminded me yet again of that, while this is a new kind of relationship for decades before, it is nonetheless a real community that we are building.
It hadn’t really occurred to me that it would be noticed, but people who follow me and who read this blog felt the absence and commented on it. Rather than making me feel guilty for my lack of engagement, it made me recognize the depth of the connections that have been forming over the last few years all the more. It is a real “village” that we are building as we talk and share our ideas. We are getting to know each other and to care about other educators as full people, not just abstract resources on the end of a tweet. We laugh and share joy; we struggle and get upset. We triumph, and we fail…together.
As we grow and share together, as we become friends, we are building a community that trusts each other on many levels. We are becoming like an army that can bring about change. In some ways, the time that we spend sharing our ideas and learning from each other is like boot camp, where individuals from all around the country come together and are made into a team whose goal is always to guard and protect its members. We provide the forum for ideas to be tested, challenged and encouraged, and a place to come for support when the road in our individual schools is difficult.
We are scattered around the globe, but we are learning to be that team, working together to create the best learning for every student that enters our classrooms. While we may never sit in the same room, if we take the time to make the connections and share our stories, we can build the community that will support our own learning and provide the best for our students.
So thank you to those who noticed! I will try to be “around” as much as possible in the coming months. Just know that it is for happy reasons that I am more silent than usual.