Monday, March 17, 2014
Everyone brings their perceptions and at times their misconceptions into all that we do. We cannot help but do it, its part of being human. But no matter who we are, this id a condition that can be overcome, and must be overcome if we are to get beyond them.
As educators and leaders we must be the examples for our students and our teachers. I realized recently that I was letting my own misconceptions get in the way of my opportunity to grow. For years I resisted social media beyond a Facebook account I try to keep very private. I did so because I had heard a few social media horror stories, seen a few potential teachers posting personal content, and of course scores of athletes who so successfully ruin their image in 140 characters or less.
As I have encountered more educational leaders in my studies, a common thread kept popping up: social media can teach us and connect us to a world far greater than our own.
I first started by joining a private facebook group that connected other members of my leadership group. So many great conversations of support helped me to see that this was valuable. Each person contributes to their comfort level and helps to promote a greater understanding for all of the members.
Reluctantly and slowly I started this blog, but it is seen by so few. Despite a number of posts when I first started, this blog is still very much in its infancy.
Recently I let go of my biggest misconception, Twitter. Twitter seemed like a waste of space, even less privacy than facebook, and it seemed like a place for self righteous and self absorbed people to pretend they were inportant. That was my misconception. That was my bias, my personal limitation.
I have let it go and in return, gained a limitless world of ideas and knowledge. In the short time I have been on Twitter, I have found more information, connected with more events and educators, and enhanced my practice far beyond the walls of my school.
Many of you will find this on Twitter, so you already know the incredible learning network it provides. Others have yet to open that door.
Our perceptions are valuable. They help us make sense of foreign situations and understand the world around us. Unfortunately they also limit us within our own thoughts and experiences. As we ought to with our students and teachers, identify your perceptions and ask yourself these questions:
1. What is the basis for this idea?
2. What does it mean if I am right?
3. What does it mean if I am wrong?
4. How will I know if my perception is justified?
In my case I was wrong, atleast as it pertains to what I can gain from using social media to connect with educators. Doing so has opened up education beyond my ability to find without the digital world.
I have challenged one of my own perceptions, can you think of one of your own?