Never Ending Journey by Meredith Johnson

What is there about Twitter that draws educators from all over the globe to return day after day? Certainly, at the end of a day, many are exhausted emotionally and mentally from rising to each occasion in meeting the needs of students, staff, and families; but they return. Have you ever reflected about why you return and share your passion for education with others?

As moderator of #BookCampPD I read books that are our focus, so I can model for others my love of learning, create questions or guide others. I am currently reading Lead With Culture by Jay Billy and I keep running into examples that reflect the educational journey I was on. I think to myself, “What??! You also were greatly influenced by Richard Allington, when you realized you needed to increase your understanding about literacy, in order to help guide others? You greet students each morning too?” and the list goes on and on as I read page after page. My love of learning continues and aides in my passion to help others.

I retired after forty years in education, twenty–six of them in administration, in June of 2017. Why did I stop going to school every day after four decades? It certainly wasn’t because I had lost my passion for helping others. Unfortunately, it was feeling so discouraged when I wanted to hear what a soft-spoken kindergartner child was telling me but I couldn’t. I would ask another educator to help me understand what the student said but, from a loss of hearing, it was a constant struggle. My knee and hip would cause me to fall to the floor walking down the hallway and you can imagine how frightened this made the students feel. I also worked so very hard to remember the thousands of details a principal juggles each day and would be tremendously discouraged when I dropped one of the “plates” as I felt I was letting someone down. Yet, in retirement, I found that Twitter allowed me to continue my passion for helping others. Where my physical body had failed me, my mind and emotional connection to education continued.

I spent months trying to decide which aspect or area of education I would place my energy and motivation. Should it be STEAM, or technology, perhaps turning around an at-risk school, or family and community engagement? Which of these topics could I focus on that would provide the most help for others? Finally, I selected books and professional learning, as I felt there was the most room for positive change and it would be a never-ending concentration. I am thankful every day for the educators who are involved in our #BookCampPD #PLN.

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