Because my family relocated from NY to Massachusetts to be near family (always has to be our first priority, in my opinion), I’ve been looking for a new position since last Spring, of 2013. That’s a lot of time spent finding job boards, understanding certification processes, reading job postings, polishing resumes, writing cover letters, substitute teaching, presenting at conferences, and meeting people. I’ve never written so much and reflected so much and grown so much in my life.
Meeting people was the toughest, yet most interesting, important and beneficial piece of all of this work. (In case it’s a surprise to anyone out there, I put this in red!)
“Networking” is easy. I can get on social media for a bit and network by liking things, posting resources and following people, but actually meeting people takes a lot of time and investment. It means that being “out there” and active in chats, groups, workshops, and it means humbly and sincerely connecting with people with phone calls and emails. It takes patience, persistence, and a deep recognition of realism (people only have so much time and can only be asked to do so much for strangers and new acquaintances.) I’m beyond excited and proud to say that I’ve been able to create a network of 1000s, of whom I’ve actually met a large amount.
I’m creating three goals in relation with this experience:
- I’m going to continually be open to meeting new people. There is so much going on in education right now, and I can’t even begin to figure it out on my own, so I want to network, meet, listen and discuss as often as possible, whether it gets to be face to face in my district and at workshops or virtually through social media such as #EdChatMa.
- I want to “pay it forward” and be a resource for people who need help or advice with things such as networking, blogging, social media, job hunting, resume writing, and cover letters.
- I’m going to walk into my new position on the shoulders of the giants who’ve supported me and helped me learn throughout my career and over this past year by leveraging their passions, examples, and lessons to benefit my new school.
I thought to shout out a bunch of specific people here, but realize that my list would always be incomplete, so I’ll just say that I’m lucky to have the family, friends and PLN that I do and grateful to have the opportunity to live up to the needs of the school and the students with whom I’m now learning. My hope is to know you all for a very long time.