People either get it, or they don't. The connections that we make via social media can have a lasting impression on our lives as educators. It was never more evident to me than during my time in Philadelphia for the 2017 National Principals Conference. I have had the privilege of connecting with educators from all over the country and the opportunity to meet these educators face to face, sometimes for the first time in person, was incredible. I don't have pictures of them all, but here are some that I will share with you because of their importance and, more importantly, because they are the ones I could find on my phone. I only wish that I had one really good one with Ryan Sheehy and Mark French, two outstanding #principalsinaction who I had the privilege of presenting with early on Sunday morning. So, here goes.
And that was just the first night, the night before the conference even started. These connections continued to be fostered over the next three days. I could go on and on with more pictures from Saturday night and the conference days but it would just be more of the same. You all know who you are and I could write a paragraph about each one of you, but I won't. The connections were fostered on runs, during sessions, between sessions, at meal time, at gatherings in restaurants and beer gardens and hotel lobbies. Why am I sharing this? Because as educators, we need to continue to develop connections with other educators. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sharing will make us all better. Reach out to your colleagues who aren't as connected and offer to help them along the way. That's another connection right there.
I watched as two different groups of educators, #principalsinaction and #momsasprincipals, grew membership because they reached out to connect. A third group, #dadsasprincipals, was born. It was great to see the variety of educators that grew together at a conference because they were first connected on Twitter or Voxer. It was amazing. Because of the connections I made with Mark French (Minnesota), Ryan Sheehy (California), and Don Gately (New York), we were able to prepare for our presentations without even being in the same room let alone the same state. That's incredible.
I encourage you to reach out to others. Connect on social media and face to face. It's what's best for our kids and our staff and each other. There are plenty of us out there to help and support you along the way. So what's stopping you?