Monday, November 5, 2012
The Sunshine of Your PLN in the Dark Moments
There are dark and lonely days in our work. These aren't the days when someone doesn't turn in their homework or when there is a disruptive class or even when lesson plan bombs, but these are the days when none of what we do makes sense anymore. These moments usually creep into our heads and souls when the pressure of the day has lifted a bit or the quiet of life find us just for a moment, and this usually follows with an incredible sense of loneliness, fear, and emptiness. It sometimes lasts a few seconds, but it can hover like a cloud for weeks or longer.This is the quiet side of education that is rarely exposed for anyone to see. It is hidden behind spirit wear, a forced smile, and need to have it together for the kids. We need to be able to share these moments with our PLN. In these moments, we need the power of our connections to sustain us, listen to us, comfort us, and rebuild our mindset. We can always share stuff (resources, tools, strategies), but are we ready to share ourselves, the private fears, the moments of darkness? True communities and networks of empathy and caring grow to this incredible level. While many of us have turned to our PLN into a place learning, the key to a sustainable PLN is becoming a growing ecosystem that supports its members in these darkest moments to believe again that the work that we are doing is noble.