The piece is elemental; however, it has more of a reach than I originally thought . Fulghum’s full essay speaks to me, but there are four lessons he shares that resonate a little louder than the rest.
“...Share everything. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”
Those lessons remind me how to live, learn, and teach. They remind me of my PLN.
I value my PLN beyond measure. I have found countless people who are willing to share their thinking, their hard work, their questions, their feedback...and all in the name of authentic learning. They offer what they have, sans egos and agendas, to make a difference...to make the lives of colleagues and students--even ones they have never met--better. And it’s truly amazing.
“Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
My PLN inspires me in countless ways. The people in my network help me reach incredibly high levels of learning and thinking. They encourage the cultivation of my creativity, and they make it safe for me sing my metaphorical songs. For the first time in my life, I have a place where I can dance my dance and paint my pictures...and no one will laugh if I accidentally color outside of the lines. (In fact, scribbling outside of the lines is more the norm.)
“When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.”
It’s so nice to know none of us are alone. Ever. There is a lot of educational traffic (i.e. policies, obstacles, and administrivia). Thankfully, colleagues and friends in my PLN willingly extend a hand to help me navigate through busy streets that are crowded with senseless, loud things that sometimes nearly run over me.
“And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”
I can’t imagine how limited my world would be without my PLN. Being connected to others has shown me new ways to think, methods to try, resources to access. I look at things that are brand new to me, I look at not-so-new things in a new way, and I look at myself as a learner. Looking allows me to read and listen in a whole new way to the world around me. And I don’t just look for things for me anymore. My PLN has helped me discover a new purpose...to look for things of value I can share so that I (hopefully) can give a little something back and pay it forward.
To my PLN...“You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you." ~R. Fulghum
I see the 4 C's throughout. It's a call to action to keep doing the right things with a selfless heart and not allow obstacles to enervate me.
An educator for 19 years, Ashley Hurley has been a part of the CMS team since 2012. Prior to working in Charlotte, she was a high school English teacher and an administrator in Union County, NC and a high school English teacher in Lancaster County, SC. Ashley now is a Professional Development Specialist (Title 1, High School Literacy) with the Teacher PD Department. In addition to providing teacher support at school sites, she facilitates the following courses: Balanced Literacy for Secondary Classroom, Supportive Interaction 1, 2, & 3, and Vital Smarts courses Crucial Conversations, Influencer, and Crucial Accountability. She serves on the Peer Review Panel for EQuIP, is a co-chair for the NC SWEA PD Job-alike PD Alliance, and co-moderator of #cmsk12chat. Please follow Ashley on Twitter at @ashleyhhurley or bookmark her blog: http://www.ashleyhurley.net/