Nearly five years ago, I attended a professional development on educational blogging hosted by Michigan principal, Ben Gilpin. That session introduced me to a new world. A world where I reflected on my practices, shared my beliefs, and connected with other educators through a weekly blog. To be honest, I did what most educators do after a PD session…nothing. Luckily for me, I attended the session with a colleague who became my accountability partner. He called me a month later and asked how my blog was going. When I said that I had not started it yet, he invited me over to his school and the two of us sat down in the computer lab and stayed until we each had a blog.
The blog started as a way to give a more dynamic update for my staff. I would still include the upcoming dates, but would include articles, videos, quotes, and most importantly a weekly story that shared an experience I have had, something new I had learned, a mistake I had made, or a belief that I had. For the first several weeks, I’m not sure that anyone read my posts beyond the calendar section. Then one day, a teacher told me that she laughed out loud when she read of my experience as a first grade teacher, because she had a similar experience. Later, another teacher told me that she really appreciated that I shared my mistakes as well as my victories because it helped her get to know me better. My goal of becoming better connected with my staff was starting to happen.
A year later, I went to another PD session on Twitter. My Twitter account led to a new platform for the blog and a much wider audience. I soon found that educators were facing the same issues across the country and even around the world. I was reading and learning from blogs and others were reading mine as well. Then one day, I received an email from Alabama principal, Jennifer Hogan. She and Ohio principal, Craig Vroom had started a group of educational bloggers from across the country called the #CompelledTribe and they wanted to expand the group. They asked me to become a group leader and the three of us would go on to bring new people into the group expanding to over 60 educators from coast to coast. Each month, we write on a common topic and also read, comment, and share one another’s posts. We also connect with one another through Voxer, email, and sometimes in person.
It’s difficult to put into words how much I have grown through the Compelled Tribe. I’ve gained new perspectives from posts, I’ve been exposed to new ideas through conversations, and I’ve been inspired by the sheer energy from the group. These are the movers and shakers of education. Our group includes authors, podcast producers, designers of mentoring programs, and just excellent educators! We are even in discussions about hosting our first national blogging conference. They say your vibe attracts your tribe and in this case, the tribe also continues to generate a vibe of positive energy back to all the members. Education can be challenging and we need systems that will encourage us and help support us . I’m thankful to the Compelled Tribe for helping me to grow and pushing me to be the best educator I can be! Who is in your tribe?
Interested in learning more about the Compelled Tribe? Check out the “Compelled Tribe” page on my website to see the members and visit the links to their blogs!
“It’s important to find your tribe.” – RuPaul
“Ultimately, we actually all belong to only one tribe.” – Jill Tarter
“I want to be the flame the tribe dances around.” – Joe Perry
- Monday, March 19: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (Led by students)
- Tuesday, March 20: Achievement Team (Benson) 8:15 AM, Parent Meeting with Achievement Team (Taylor) 2:35 PM
- Wednesday, March 21: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Jon to PTSA @ Frost 6:00 PM
- Thursday, March 22: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM (led by Shayna & Heather), Battle of the Books in Gym (lunch in classrooms), PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
- Friday, March 23: Safari Adventure, Jon to ABC Negotiations 1:30 PM
- Monday, March 26: Student of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM (Mindfulness), B.O.G. walk through with Mr. Craig, Jen Medellin, and PTA 2:00-3:30 PM
- Tuesday, March 27: IEP for KP (Kurtjian) 8:15 AM, Wild About Reading All-School Assembly 1:30-2:30 PM
- Wednesday, March 28: Reading in the Wild (Science Room)
- Thursday, March 29: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Reading in the Wild (Science Room)
- Friday, March 30: No School! Spring Break Begins!!
- Saturday, April 21: PTA Garden Beautification Project
- Thursday, April 26: Art Showcase (Grades K-4) & Music Performance (Grades 1&2) 6:00-7:30 PM, Science Fair Projects on Display
- Friday, May 11: PTA Spring Fling 6:00-8:00 PM
- Friday, May 25: Students & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
- Wednesday, May 30: Kindergarten Round Up
- Friday, June 8: Field Day
- Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Celebration/Music Concert 1:30 PM
- Thursday, June 14: All School Assembly 10:00-11:00 AM, Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM
- Friday, June 15: 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM
- Monday, June 18: Teacher Work Day (Optional Report)