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We need Engaged Educators

by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Cross posted to the Langwitches Blog

All our best strategies, plans, projects, initiatives, etc. will all come to nothing and fizzle out, if we, as educators (Yes, I am also talking about teachers AND administrators) are NOT engaged as leaders and learners.

WE NEED ENGAGED EDUCATORS who:

  • are self-motivated and self-directed
  • give as much as they are taking from other educators
  • are flexible, innovative and willing to take risks
  • contribute and take an active part in a global conversation via their expertise, perspectives, shareable content and their time
  • understand that sharing is a moral imperative in a global network of educators and learners
  • are invested in their own learning

Are you engaged as a leader and learner ?

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Social Media FOR Schools: Strategy, Platforms, Shareable Content

by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, cross posted to Langwitches Blog

A previous post was focused on developing shareable content FOR schools via social media, I have taken a step back to look at the bigger picture and the different components schools need to consider and gain fluency in order to best harvest the power of social media for them.

  • awareness of the difference between social media IN schools and FOR schools
  • social media strategy for schools
  • social media platforms and tools: characteristics, capabilities, type of content suited for particular platform, image/video sizes
  • characteristics of shareable content

Download Social Media FOR Schools infographic for free (pdf)

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While social media in schools deals primarily with policies around how to use (or not use) social media in the classroom with students, social media for schools is about storytelling and getting their stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, parents, community) to spread these stories.

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What are the best ways a teacher can demonstrate leadership in the classroom?

by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano. Cross-posted to the Langwitches Blog.
What are the best ways a teacher can demonstrate leadership in the classroom?
I started to poke a little around to get a better handle on the popular notion of WHAT leadership was perceived as:
I found a definition on Google:
definition_leadership_-_Google_SearchI conducted a Google image search:
leadership_quotes_-_Google_SearchI got hundreds of quotes and points of view WHAT leadership is by searching for the #leadership hashtag on Twitter.
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“Leadership is action, not a position” by Donald McGannon
I also looked at the results of an image search on Google and got visuals of how the concept of leadership might be represented. [ Oddly, the images below almost always portrait a leader who is somehow different (bigger size, different color, in a different position or pointing with a finger to something that has to be done]
leadership_-_Google_SearchTaking these popular notions, quotes, points of view and visuals into account: How does leadership look like in the classroom? What are the best ways a teacher can demonstrate leadership in the classroom?
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In the classroom, as a teacher, it boils down to a “Leadership Flow” for me, not one best way or another. That flow could be accomplished with the following four components:
  1. Model
  2. Experience
  3. Share
  4. Trust

Model:
A leader in the classroom models the type of behavior and learning they want to see and encourage in their students. They are transparent in their own learning process, they do not hide mistakes or failures, their make their thinking, learning and process visible for others to reconstruct and follow. Leaders model by example not by ” Do as I say”.

Experience:
A leader in the classroom gives students the opportunities to experience the learning. Leaders in the classroom don’t skip steps because it is easier, less time consuming and possibly more convenient. By the same token, leaders are ready to experience and embrace new situations, new skills, new learning opportunities alongside their students. Leaders put themselves in the position of learners and don’t continue to only draw on experiences from another lifetime (when they were young or from a pre-technology world). Leaders encourage, value, support and celebrate “sticking your neck out” in order to experience new paths.

Share:
A leader celebrates, highlights and shares their classroom learning community’s accomplishments. The leader takes on the responsibility of documenting and strategically amplifying through a variety of venues. This can range from face to face in-school sharing opportunities to district, national or international conferences as well as online social network platforms (Ex. blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Diigo)

Trust:
A leader in the classroom is always working on establishing and strengthening trust as an integral component of that leadership flow. Trust is the component that “lubricates” the movement of the flow. Leaders always seek and take advantage of opportunities to gain trust but also learn to trust their students.