Tapping the Potential of a Learning Network

A new question has been running around my head lately, and it is this, "Who are the 10 people in your field that are the best at doing your job?" I believe it came from another blog, but it was on one of those days of major input, so I have lost the source.

I'm not sure that I can answer this question, but I think that it is an essential one for growth. Let's start with the idea that we can find 10 people that are currently doing our job at the level of proficiency or higher. I think that I can do this, and I think that I try to learn from these people in an intermittent whenever the management of life doesn't get in the way, sort of way. Every time that I do learn from them, I am excited, refreshed and ready to impact kids in a greater way. Imagine though having access to the best people in your field, people in Japan, Kuwait, and Cleveland. Think of the power of sharing ideas with the elite practitioners in your area. They are the ones with the ideas and resources that seem to trickle down over time, but now you have the power to mold and shape the ideas as they are evolving, no longer do you have to wait for the sloppy seconds.

Today I tasted the honey, and it was good. I spoke through Skype with someone in the UK at the Business Lab, a social service research partnership. They are working with schools in England and Scotland on a program to help with parent engagement. I think that the program is brilliant, and it may be a great new layer to a current effort. How did I first learn about the program...from a tweet. Yes, Twitter has become educators greatest chance of connecting with the top 10 people in their field and truly collaborating on excellence. Each day Twitter provides me with a dose of professional development that can truly be used to enrich the lives of kids. I want this for my teachers, and I want this for my students. My wading through the world of Twitter has allowed me to enhance and build my Google Reader into a rich basket of learning that I can tap into from anywhere at any time.

One idea, one Skype call, one tweet have reignited my vigor for my career during these difficult days of May when school and learning have been notorious for being about closing the cycle of learning instead of extending it.