A Different Kind of Network

In the last several years, I have found social media to serve as a platform for my professional learning network or PLN to grow exponentially. Everyday, I am connecting or following folks that I did not know or follow the day before. When folks say it is the fastest way to connect with other professionals, I agree completely. Whether you are connecting on Facebook, Twitter, Voxer, LinkedIn or through a variety of other platforms, I am sure you have experienced how quickly your PLN can grow and the relationships that can be cultivated through just being present in a social media scene. 

My social media presence has led to multiple meaningful relationships with colleagues who I now call friends. It's funny to think you can consider someone a friend without ever meeting them face to face, but when you are engaging in conversations about a shared passion, trust me. It happens. 

Today, I was reminded of another network I belong to. I didn't meet them online and we rarely exchange tweets or voxes, but we are always there for one another. They are an email, text or phone call away and when needed a short drive across town.

As STAAR test results were released today across campuses in Texas, I was able to connect with my network of principals within my own school district. We exchanged emails and phone calls sharing the results, not to rank ourselves against each other, but to provide the collegial support principals need. We mutually care for one another. We congratulate one another. We pick one another up when we are down and we share what is working in the hopes it will work for the next person. Every now and then, you need to be able to pick up the phone and speak with someone who you know gets it. Someone you know who works in the same district, in the same type of building you do. No disrespect to my colleagues on Twitter and Voxer, because I have learned so much from our tweets, voxes and comments, but picking up the phone and having a conversation with someone who is in the exact position I am in, in my district is just different. 

As the world continues to flatten and social media platforms continue to expand and connect us globally, do not forget about the networks that exist and the company you are surrounded by, right where you are. 

What was your moment today? 

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