About my personal learning network: Stop being so awesome!


I’m driving my car and I’m looking at homes that still have their Christmas decorations up and it’s almost February!

I love you, “People who haven’t taken down your Christmas decorations yet”.

And you’re proud of it.  You’re not keeping them off at night, trying to evade the judgments of people who have read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done and have empty inboxes.  You don’t care about the sneers of those whose desks are polished to a high shine and are clear except for the barely detectable scent of a just finished handful of almonds.  You are lighting up your corner of the neighborhood every night —  like it’s December 17 — as if to advertise your inefficiency — or is it laziness.

I love you. You’re my people….

I also love my Professional Learning Network.   My PLN… Everybody does.


I love all the ways that you stretch my thinking. I love all the amazing ideas you give me, the ways you help me reflect on the things I’m doing and offer ways to make our school better, always better. I love the support you give me too, how you encourage me, lift me up when I’m having a bad day and encourage me when I make mistakes.


I am surrounded both virtually and in real life by people who stretch my thinking and show me what’s possible.  There are teachers at my school who do more in 10 minutes than I accomplished in an entire month when I was a classroom teacher.  When I observe them teach, my brain hurts from all the learning that’s going on in their classrooms.  The leadership team in my district is another source of inspiration for me.  These people never stop with the thinkin’.   You’re in a room with them and you get a little shock — like when your brother rubbed his feet on new carpet, licked his finger and stuck it in your ear (what, don’t tell me you didn’t do that!) STATIC THINKING ELECTRICITY.  pln2I am also in a Voxer group with other middle school principals who are like the Justice League of Educational Innovation and Best Practice.  If you put an idea or a problem out to this group, they are on it like sharks on a beach ball.  It’s amazing and humbling to be surrounded by all these talented people.  And don’t even get me started on my wife… she’s scary smart; always reading a new book or planning some new initiative.

So I’m basically surrounded by brilliant, innovative people whether I’m asleep or awake!

But do you have to be so amazing all the time? Really? Do you people sleep? Wait a minute, I know that you don’t sleep, because I’m on twitter with you at five o’clock in the morning.  I’m not sure if I will be the first person who’s ever said it but, there’s days that you make me feel like I’m – well – average.  There are times when your awesomeness makes me feel like I am just one big lazybones.   Cut it out!

I’m only kidding, you know this of course.  I am blessed to be surrounded by people in person and in the digital world who push me, help me to learn, give me encouragement and support.  I love all of these people.  But I’m getting in my car to see if you’ve taken down your Christmas lights yet… just sayin!

About dfgately

Middle School Principal Jericho, NY
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