Hello new Cohort 21 members and welcome to your new life-long professional family! You are about to embark on a professional development journey that will excite you, challenge you, at times overwhelm you, and ultimately, improve you as an educator. As a recent graduate of Cohort Season 6, I thought I’d pass along my 10 tips for new Cohort members (it was going to be 21 tips – get it? – but I quickly realized that 10 was my max). Here goes, in no particular order:
We are all on this journey together and it’s OK if you are not as far along as some others. I need you to remember this throughout the year because you are about to meet some Educational Rockstars who are in a league of their own, which can be very intimidating if you’re the person still searching for their Action Plan in mid-January (*cough* like I was last year *cough*).
Give Twitter a chance. I get that it’s not for everyone but please come with an open mind on Saturday, get signed up, install the app on your phone, follow all your fellow Cohort members and teachers/admin at your school, and see what happens. I, myself, am not a big “tweeter” but the number of ideas I’ve got from the people I follow is well into the hundreds now (when I see a tweet, article, or activity I want to remember I press the “Share Tweet Via” button and then email it to myself).
Don’t become paralyzed when writing a blog post. Yes, it can be stressful to officially push “Publish” for the world to see but the pride you feel when you do is incredible! (Plus the supportive feedback you get from the Cohort community in the comments section just makes you want to write more.)
Blog posts don’t have to be 5000 words long and change the education system as we know it. They can be a quick “I tried this new activity today and it went really well”, or “I tried this new activity and it didn’t go so well and now I want feedback in order to improve it”. Heck, you’re currently reading a blog post that is a list of 10 tips. Not exactly life altering!
When you do blog, please tweet the link to your new post to make it easier for all of us to find.
Try to read and comment on others’ blogs as much as you can. We’re all so busy but even a quick 1-2 sentence comment can help others more than you know.
Circulate your blog amongst your peers, coworkers, bosses, friends & family. It’s amazing how feedback can spark a new idea or can snowball into an encouraging new perspective.
Go to the socials after each of the face-to-face sessions.
Garth, Justin and all the facilitators are AMAZING! (Not a tip, just a statement of fact that cannot be said enough)
Hopefully this was helpful in some way. I can’t wait to see everyone this Saturday!
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