About Connected Leading/Learning: You’re a LEARNER!

Everybody has a version of this dream. You’re not prepared to do a speech. You’re supposed to be flying an airplane and you don’t know how to do it.  There’s a test and you forgot about it, you didn’t study and you feel like you’re going to fail.


These dreams are disturbing because we feel stupid. We’re supposed to know something and we don’t. It’s embarrassing.

This is one of the reasons that some people are resistant to become connected educators. The technology — whether it’s Twitter or Google or Facebook or Edmodo —  makes some people feel stupid.  As educators, teachers or school leaders, we feel that we are purveyors of knowledge and skills. It’s our job to be the experts.

Somehow this makes us terrible at assuming a Growth Mindset posture towards learning.  That’s right, educators can sometimes make the worst learners.  If I’m learning at home by reading a book, or sitting in on a class and not raising my hand and offering to answer questions, I never have to worry about feeling stupid. But, to involve myself as a connected educator means putting myself out there. To participate in a Twitter chat or to utilize technology in front of students or even colleagues, is to risk failure, risk looking stupid. Experts don’t like to look stupid.

IMG_1228I have come to believe that the most powerful statement any educator can make is, I’m a learner.  The thing about school is, a good school, everything that happens underneath that roof should be about learning and growing.  So the kids aren’t the only learners in the building, we’re learners too.

So if that’s the reason you’ve been reluctant to try becoming a connected educator, remember, you’re not an expert, you’re a learner.


About dfgately

Middle School Principal Jericho, NY
This entry was posted in Educational Focus, Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to About Connected Leading/Learning: You’re a LEARNER!

  1. The discoveries you share here are so important, Donald. I can’t tell you how many teachers I know whose contributions would be valued by others in my networks, yet they won’t share, largely because they fear criticism. Decades of being positioned as the lead authority in the classroom and the experts in the field have not been without unintended consequences. I agree: we need to remember that we’re learners and celebrate that too.

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