Sunday, January 19, 2014

#nerdlution Gifts

(I just saw that Kendra posted her #nerdlution reflections, so I have to decided to hurry up and write before I read hers.  Apologies for any duplicate thoughts.)

In late November, Kendra and I decided to join in the #nerdlution fun.  We committed to each writing 50 blog posts in 50 days.  Rookie mistake.  I personally underestimated the time of blogging everyday (and everything that goes into it).  We rocked it the beginning of winter break, and then Kendra and I each recognized the need to decompress and be family-focused.  2014 brought a new approach to the blog, and I have posted most days in January.  For me, the purpose of #nerdlution was to make blogging a habit.  Mission accomplished.  As the 50 days of #nerdlution draw to a close, the connections from #nerdlution were the most unexpected and wonderful gift.
Kendra, Jillian & I at edCampDSM
Kendra, Jillian, and I began this blog as a way to reflect and connect.  At the time we were thinking it would help us connect with other educators.  But I am celebrating that #nerdlution has brought my dear friend Kendra and I even closer.  This has been such a gift since we now work at separate buildings and can no longer walk across the hall to celebrate/learn/cry/vent/figure it out.  It has been fun to learn and think about this blog together.    

#nerdlution has helped me to expand my PLN.  I have lurked on blogs and Twitter for longer than I care to admit now.  I lacked the confidence to share or contribute, so I would read without commenting.  I didn't realize what I missing out on by not joining in.  I approached #nerdlution with a "Why not speak up?" attitude ,and my thinking has shifted as a result.  I have linked up with It's Monday! What Are You Reading and Slice of Life.  I participated in a Twitter chat for #wildreading, and I was truly disappointed when I didn't get a chance to join in the #sharpschu chat last week.  Note: I will fix this with February's chat about Battle Bunny!  People I know "in real life" have asked or talked about something I wrote.  Thank you!  Fellow educators across the country like Kevin commented on our young blog.  Their comments provided welcome feedback and proved that someone other than Kendra and I were reading our blog.  Thank you!  It also showed me the value of comments, so I am making a more concerted effort to comment.  I was giddy when I found out via Twitter and e-mail comment alerts that thoughtful and thought-provoking educators (read as: I've read their books, their blogs, their articles from Choice Literacy, I've implemented their ideas...you get the picture), such as CathyFranki and Clare, actually read something that we wrote.  I may have sent excited text messages to Kendra.  I knew she would understand.  She did.  

#nerdlution has helped me to see the world with a writer's eye.  Blogging everyday helped me to be on the lookout for inspiration and process my professional learning in a different way.  Being a reader makes me a better reading teacher.  For some reason, I hadn't extended that to writing until we began blogging.  Being a writer is now informing my approach to writing instruction.

#nerdlution also helped me realize that I can find time.  I had let go of some things because I didn't think I had time.  But I am able to find time to read and write most days everyday when I make it a priority.

Thanks, #nerdlution!  When does Round 2 start?

Annie

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