“PLN” or just the “N”

As educators we are constantly prompted and supported by others in education circles. We know all the buzzwords, we support each other’s learning, we attend conferences and events that center around our profession. Something crucial though happened last week that sparked this latest post. Regardless of whether or not you disagree with his politics, I strongly agreed with Gov. Snyder’s decision to hold a joint Education & Economic Summit in MI. Too often educators are in our own heads. We use the relevant buzzwords, we embark on hours upon hours of endless professional development, but there is a whole network outside of educators that need to hear from us. Holding a joint summit where business professionals were side-by-side with educators is more than just symbolic. It shows both fields that they can and should learn from each other.

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Educators have to do more to explain to non-educator audiences the work that we are doing & the expertise we have to offer. We have to expand our professional learning networks to touch more networks that contain non-educators. We need to drive the business of education or it will be driving us. As much as I disagree with some facets of the industry of education, if we pretend that it doesn’t exist, if we circle the wagons and only continue to learn and grow from our educator-centric PLNs we are missing a tremendous opportunity.

So my message to educators is simple – get out there and spread the word about what we do in order to elevate our profession. If we do not deliver our message, it will be delivered for us and to us.  What have you done lately to expand your network outside of your profession?

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