Kindred Spirits #sol15



Anne Shirley is a kindred spirit.  I've read the entire Anne of Green Gables series and also loved the movie version featuring Megan Follows as Anne.  She was a character I respected, admired, laughed with, and was someone who I would have loved to call my friend.  She often used the phrase "kindred spirits" in her books and I've felt that way about special people in my life, too.  

Anne Shirley said, "Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.  It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."  Becoming a connected educator has allowed me to see the truth in this quote and my world has become bigger, richer, more alive by the people I interact with online. 

For a long time, I felt under the stormy cloud of the political storm surrounding education.  Article after article talked about low teacher morale, ridiculous and unfair ways to assess, misery in the education field.  When I dreamed of being a teacher as a child, this nightmare was not what I envisioned.  

Politically, things are not better.  The new evaluation plan Cuomo set in motion is a horror show, but for me, the storm clouds have lifted.  Light is shining in, coming from many directions as the kindred spirits I meet share their passion for teaching, learning, reading, writing and helping kids find their way.  

There's Kristen, who is simply a powerhouse of motivation, ideas, and love of literacy.  She's taught me Voxer and I look forward to daily chats with her, knowing I will always know more after talking to her than I did before.  There's Aliza, who takes time out of her jam-packed busy schedule to email me and send me pictures of the reading notebook she has developed.  What's in it for her to do this? Nothing.  But she does it anyway, answering my questions, sending me pictures, helping me refine my ideas. There's Sylwia, who sent me ideas on how she is incorporating math centers in her 3rd grade classroom after I inquired about how that works.  There's Jane, who always sends me supportive tweets about what I'm sharing about my teaching life.  These kind comments help me see that my voice is important.  There's Greg, whose blog, book and life are a testament to the incredible gift he is to teaching and the world. There's JoEllen, who radiates joy and love for learning and has taken the time to connect with me.  Her #booklove and enthusiasm have inspired me to bring more joy back into my classroom.  There's Mark, who has generously put my name into the "Twitterverse" and helped me connect with more educators. His pictures and quotes are always day brighteners and reinforce the notion that someone believing in you is powerful motivation to become worthy of that belief.  

There's more, of course.  Teachers like Katherine Sokolowski (no relation!) who takes the time to make a Youtube tutorial for me when I confessed I couldn't figure out how to create a Padlet.  Katherine's blogs always touch my heart and like Anne Shirley, Katherine's character shines through each word she writes.  There's the Two Writing Teachers team who bring together this community of teachers who believe in writing and telling our stories.  Day after day, new posts are published and each one gives me practical and inspiring ways to approach writing in my classroom.  Their knowledge and the knowledge of the community members who comment on posts is astounding and is helping me grow as a teacher. There's the Nerdy Book Club and the nerdy members who love books and make it a mission to help our students fall in love with reading, too.  

There's the real-life friends I know that I know better now because of being connected online.  Darshna, Mark, Vicki, and Barbara are LIWP friends who are kindred spirits and friends. We only get to meet up a few times a year, but through the magic of online connections, I read Barbara's slices weekly and learn more about her adventures. I read Mark's poems each day in April and found myself stunned by his talent and voice.  I see the incredible things Vicki is doing for her students and her passion for teaching.  I  read the insightful articles that Darshna carefully posts, knowing whatever she puts out there will be worth my time. 

The other day, Dr. Bill Brennan, Director of Library Media Services and Technology in Farmingdale, visited our school.  Dr. Brennan is the person who inspired me to try Twitter.  Two years ago at Superintendent's Conference Day, he spoke to our district about the new ways of learning.  His presentation was awe-inspiring. He talked about how Twitter was helping him to connect with experts and learn in real time and I began to think that Twitter was more than just a place for celebrity gossip. When Dr. Brennan stopped by on Friday, I had the opportunity to thank him for helping me try Twitter.  I told him that teaching without being connected felt a lot like being in a dark house with the doors and windows bolted but now, I feel like everything is bright and open, with light shining in and I can see again.  

The people I know and work with face to face are amazing, helpful, knowledgeable, kind and teach me things everyday.  The people I connect with online are amazing, helpful, knowledgeable, kind and teach me things everyday too.  My world is bigger, brighter, happier and kindred spirits- well, it's splendid to know there are so many of them in my world.  

Comments

  1. Anne Shirley. Kindred Spirits. Connected Educators. I LOVE this post!!!! What a beautiful tribute to the value of being connected and our invaluable PLNs!! Well written, as always! :)

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    1. Thank you Michelle! You are definitely a kindred spirit. Your cheerful, positive outlook,love of pens and notebooks, and #youmatter mantra always uplift my spirits and give me new ideas. So happy to connect!

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  2. What an awesome post! I love your analogy about how Twitter has opened up and lit up the dark house of isolation. I feel the same way. Being a connected educator has inspired me in ways that I never could have imagined. Meeting other teachers from around the country and around the world is the best part...including 'meeting' you! :)

    Jennifer

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! I agree that the sense of isolation is lost now and love sharing ideas and beliefs with you and the other teachers in our PLN. I truly appreciate the kind comments you have left on my blogs!

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  3. I couldn't agree more! I have started to see that you and I are kindred spirits as well. I look forward to your posts each week.

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    1. What a compliment! I see a kindred spirit in you Kimberely! Your love for teaching and reading and writing is clearly evident. Your posts always strike me as being from a person who truly walks the walk of being a reader and a writer. The summer notebook idea is fantastic! Just shared my entry with my class yesterday, telling them teachers are always working and thinking on how to help our students grow!

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  4. My PLN of kindred spirits inspires and emboldens me. Though I previously felt more isolated in many of my convictions, I have found a legion of souls that hold a similar vision, and possess a similar heart for the students in their care. This is a lovely post that serves as a tribute to the transcendent power of our connection with such colleagues. Thank you for your courage to strengthen your craft and your voice, and in the process, strengthen me as well. I'm so grateful for collegial partnership.

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    1. I love the words "legion of souls" and I am so appreciative of all you write and share, Greg! So grateful too for connecting and sharing.

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  5. It's great to hear that you've found a group that matters and inspires. We all need such a group, wherever they are, their words support. Lovely post!

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    1. Thank you Linda! I appreciate your comment!

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  6. You're so fortunate to have a wonderful PLN -- both in your school and online. Lots of kindred spirits surround you, indeed!

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    1. Thanks Stacey! I am truly grateful for this community you created. The teachers on this site are very special and I'm so glad to be part of this community.

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  7. it's a wonderful, interconnected world that you have created to nurture and sustain you. Bravo!

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    1. Thank you Tara! Thanks for all you do to keep this community alive and growing. It has meant so much to me to be part of this group.

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  8. it's a wonderful, interconnected world that you have created to nurture and sustain you. Bravo!

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  9. I remember feeling this way when I left my first NCTE Convention last year... like I had found my kindred spirits. It's a wonderful and satisfying feeling, isn't it?

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    1. It is! I have to get to NCTE one of these days! Kindred spirits really keep you going on those tough teaching days. Thanks for all you do in the TWT community to make this such a special place for teachers to grow.

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  10. Isn't it great to be able to create your own little mini-learning community of experts. Love the "freedom" / access to information through twitter and blogs!

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    1. I agree! Hope your new little grandson is doing well! Grateful for all the insight you offer.

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  11. "This little light of mine...I'm gonna' let it shine...." It's no wonder you feel you have so many kindred spirits. It's because you have a little light that shines and we are all drawn to it, each in our own way. You may feel the windows and doors opening to the light, while we are experiencing the beacon of love and joy that you shine on all of us!

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    1. There is an expression that you can live a month on a good compliment- I think the rest of my year is set after that one, Barbara! Your comment meant so much and it is such a joy to me that you think I have a light like that. So grateful for your friendship!

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  12. And there's Kathleen, reaching out with a tweet after reading my little slice of life last week and then to share a sweet, sweet poem that I will remember forever. Kindred spirits indeed. A beautiful slice!

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Your slice was beautiful and it was so funny how I just read that poem for the first time that morning and it was so perfectly aligned to your slice. I'm so glad you liked it and so happy to connect with you!

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  13. Kathleen,
    I'm speechless! This is such an amazing post!
    I'm so glad we connected on Friday. I'll never forget what you said about how Twitter and your PLN changed your life. It's an honor to join you on this journey. Thank you for your leadership and all that you do to drive and shape the conversation on professional learning. I truly admire your work and want to continue to empower you just like you empower your students. You are an inspiration!
    Bill

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  14. I am so lucky to work across the hall from you! Two Kathleens are better than one!

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