This past year, I have invested a lot of time building my professional learning network on Twitter. I use Twitter only for professional development purposes. It keeps me fresh and on top of the cutting edge practices in education. It’s also great having an opportunity to connect to well-known, respected educators and giving them a shout out. I feel so significant when they reply, favorite, retweet, or the most amazing- follow little ole’ me. These people have increased their pool of followers near and far just by being a “tweet” away!
When I got on Twitter, there were a handful of people that I knew I wanted to follow.One of those people was Angela Watson. I have followed her from the early days when she had a single website called “Mrs. Powell’s Management Site for Teachers.” After taking a seven year hiatus from teaching in the early 2000s, her website was a life saver for me. As the years have continued, I have been able to buy each of her books that she has published starting with “The Cornerstone.” This book rescued me one year when I had 29 fourth graders!! I needed all the help I could get to stay organized and on top of this class with 16 boys.
However, the book that has meant the most to me by Angela Watson is her book called, “Awakened.” It is all about changing your mindset to become a better teacher. Her encouragement and prayers have challenged me to choose joy each day, even when it gets hard.
One other form of media that Angela uses that has helped me as an educator and a person is her weekly podcast called “Truth for Teachers.” This podcast is recorded on Sunday night so that we teachers can wake up to an encouraging, engaging, motivating discussion early Monday morning. (Whew! Mondays are hard!) Some of the most memorable podcasts for me have been “How to Approach Teaching with a Spirit of Adventure”. This particular podcast helped launch me into what I hope the platform of this blog is built on. Teaching is adventurous and exciting, but in order to keep up with educational reforms and, more importantly, our students; we must be willing to take risks. Creating a chronical of risk taking successes and epic fails this coming year is my focus for writing. I truly believe it is okay to fail. I expect it from time to time. I have found that my biggest life lessons have come more from epic fails than that of my stunning successes. I want my students to realize that and my colleagues to run head long into risk-taking adventures. Stay tuned for my adventures!
Another inspiring podcast was “You can Build a Positive School Culture No Matter Where You Teach.” Angela had some wonderful educators like Hope King and Jimmy Casas to give a behind the scenes perspective of creating systems in your classroom and school to promote positivity among students and faculty. I love how she made sure to address those who feel all alone with no support. I personally have a great support system with my administration and co-workers; but I am glad we have educators like Angela who think of those teachers who feel isolated and want to figure out how to make a difference!
Angela, thanks for all of your amazing work over the years! You truly have been an inspiration to me and others I’m sure. I appreciate your encouragement as a teacher and your faith as a believer! I can’t wait to get my weekly dose of truth on Mondays starting up again this fall. I hope others will join me by subscribing to “Truth for Teachers” by Angela Watson. You will be filled with hope!