To my Ontario PLN. Hello.

I have been thinking about constructing a post to introduce myself more officially to some Ontario educators I have met online for a few weeks now. This move is important because relationship, connection, and community is the be-all and end-all for me. Of course, it takes time for meaningful relationships to form, but at the very least we should be able to answer the basic question, “Who the heck is this person anyway?”

This is how one draft began…

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I am a high school English teacher  by trade, but as of 2010 I began working as the K-12 literacy coach for the Wikwemikong Board of Education.I have spent many years teaching and learning about teaching in isolation. But I am not speaking of teachers closing the doors of their classrooms because I didn’t. Nor am I speaking about being physically isolated as many First Nations schools are because we aren’t.

Nope. I am referring to being professionally isolated from other educators, school boards, and the Ministry of Education itself. First Nations schools are federally funded and until very recently were not included in provincial initiatives.  With the opportunity to connect face-to-face limited to the rare conference, we were left to our own devices to move our practice forward.

When I heard about Twitter, I immediately signed up. It was April 2009.  However, without the connections to subject associations (the English Association is quite inactive), unions, or the ministry, I could not ‘see’ anything happening in education, so I moved on. I played around with Facebook in the classroom, certified as a Flat Classroom teacher, and then ran into #etmooc and #gafesummit where I did begin to connect with Ontario educators. (This is the end of a draft post.)

To this point, my thinking in this post was really about how hard it can be to find people to connect with, who share enough of the same context as yours so that the engagement is meaningful and relevant. Through #flatclass and #etmooc, I made lots of connections to educators both globally and nationally, and I  appreciate the conversations I have with this part of my PLN, but I did wonder where my fellow Ontario educators were.

#Ontsm answered that question, and what I learned from a week of public thinking and reflecting on social media can be found here.

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