Friday, 11 September 2015

More than just my #PLN

A colleague is moving interstate and I gave her some advice …”Get on Twitter”.  Not because it is free professional development and provides wonderful opportunities but because she could meet some amazing and very caring people. You could say I’ve done my share of moving (Canada, US, Australia etc) and in every new place, I would join a gym. I found it a great way to meet people. The gym not only provided some ‘me’ time but also provided my children the chance to interact and socialise with other children. If you haven’t moved, you may not understand but making friends takes effort and time. Without work colleagues or friends of friends to meet, it can be isolating if you are not comfortable putting yourself out there.

Honestly, it’s hard moving…finding a house, doctor, dentist, school-all those things. It’s especially hard when you don’t know another soul. So I reached out to my Twitter friends in Canberra who were only too willing to connect with my colleague. I feel better knowing that she has some support there, as these people are wonderful educators and ‘good’ people.

Last night I met with many tweeps I have gotten to know through Twitter. You could say these people are part of my PLN but that would be incorrect. These people have become more. They have become my friends. We all go through times when we need a little more support, and the friends I've made through Twitter and TeachMeets have texted, Voxed, Direct Messaged or phoned to provide just that. Getting together face to face is the best but a short message or a lengthy conversation goes a long way too. From a person who knows that making friends takes effort, I appreciate the friendships I’ve gained from Twitter & TeachMeets.

The definition of social networking is the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to one's own. Twitter is social networking with social being the operative word. To recharge my battery, I surround myself with positive, passionate people. By definition, that makes me an extrovert. I’ve met people face to face who are quite introverted but this is not reflected on Twitter. 

While life will always provide some challenges, I believe these challenges reveal what and who to be grateful for. So yes, they are part of my PLN but they are so much more. With no family in Sydney, I feel I can always call on many of these friends, which brings me and my family a great deal of comfort. 

So thank you friends,