Imagine not being able to attend school for over a month due to a hurricane that flooded your school building? Consider how you would support students impacted by a school shooting where a student died? How can educators support students and colleagues who live in homes where domestic abuse issues occur frequently? These are issues that many of our students and educators face in North Carolina.
Earlier in October, I attended the Western North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network (NCDLCN) meeting in Asheville. This group, which has two additional cohorts across North Carolina, invites educators from across the state to attend sessions that will transform them into stronger instructional coaches for both students and fellow educators. I have been blessed to be part of this group for the past three years as both an attendee and a mentor. The synergy produced at a NCDLCN meeting cannot be adequately described but this opportunity is one of the best professional learning experiences that I have ever attended. During my time with NCDLCN, I have learned many new instructional, research based instructional strategies, innovative ideas, and emerging technology tools for classroom use. I have been invited to many additional professional learning opportunities as a result of being part of this amazing group.
One of the most interesting opportunities involves our monthly twitter chats which are typically the first Tuesday of the month. For the month of November, I will serve as part of an extraordinary three person team for our first twitter chat of the year. I will be working with the incredible Holly King (@hollysking) and stupendous Lauren Boucher (@BoucherLauren). Both of these educators are amazing innovative leaders who have worked to transform their districts and schools by helping teachers redesign many current educational practices and creating learning opportunities that prepare students for an ever changing future.
One first twitter chat, scheduled for Tuesday November 6 at 8 PM, will focus on the importance of building resilience among educators. For many of our students, resilience is one of the most important life skills that educators can impart to students. In her book "Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators," Elena Aguilar define resilience as "how we weather the storms in our lives and rebound after something difficult." Her definition is definitely right on target with my experience with working with students, regardless of various backgrounds. Life is hard and challenging. We, as educators, may never fully know the challenges and tribulations that our students (or even colleagues) face on a daily basis. While the standards that we are charging with teaching are important, I would argue that resilience is one of the most important life skills that we can teach our students. The way that we respond to critical set backs is so important for the quality of life that we will lead. In our twitter chat, we will explore various ways that educators can support building resilience among students and other educators. I invite all interested educators, not just NCDLCN members, to join us for an amazing hour that will help you transform your practice into one that will support the building of strong resilience. We look forward to you joining us for this amazing twitter chat.
The ideas shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent my employers, associations, or organizations. These thoughts are entirely my own.