Thursday, July 24, 2014

Being By Myself Doesn't Equate to Being Alone

I'm on day 2 of +Akevy Greenblatt 's 30 day blog challenge, and I'm still up for it. :)

I've been thinking about my drive to be connected and my every-growing love of solitude and how they should be at opposite ends of the gamut, but are they really?

I work essentially "alone" in my home office for eleven months of the year, and being a very social person, people often ask me, "Aren't you lonely being home alone all day long?" I usually answer with a laugh, because I actually have the freedom to be much more connected while working at home than I did while working in my former "brick and mortar" school. Besides talking with my students and their families via Blackboard and phone, I have several social media tools accessible to me.

I now have the ability to check my Twitter feed every so often and keep in touch with educators from all over the world. Twitter was blocked at my previous school. I'm a member of some group chats and can reach out to those fellow educators as well, but phones were deemed "off limits" from 7:30am to 3:30pm except for our "30 minute duty-free lunch." Over the summer, I've become a member of a few Voxer groups, and I've added professional contacts to my Facebook friends, which previously has only consisted of personal friends and relatives and I look forward to those connections continuing into the school year.

Since my current school is a charter school and all of the 2,200 students are there by choice, there is a different emphasis on reaching out to the world. We have a PR person on staff and coordinate special online and face-to-face events to get the word out of the great things that we do. In a day and age of school branding becoming ever popular in addition to Wisconsin's school choice option for families, I'd think that telling one's story would remove the blocking of social media, but that's just my opinion. I am just happy to say that I am connected.

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