Finding Your Niche

This is the twenty sixth post in the Professional Development 2.0 series. If you have not already, I would encourage you to start with the first twenty five posts:

When you first start participating in social networking or in blogging, one of the hardest parts is often trying to find exactly where you belong. I know when I started, I was able to easily identify people in several categories:

  • Educational Technology
  • ELL/EFL teachers
  • Grading and Assessment
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Special Education
  • Higher Education
  • Specific Content Areas or Grade Levels (English, elementary, etc…)

There are many other categories as well, but these stood out to me as prominent. The only problem was that I did not really fit into any of these categories. As much as I love technology, I realize that it is a tool that should be used to meet students’ needs. I write often about assessment, but similarly recognize that as one important aspect of education.

It took several months for me to really find a balance that works for me. The best advice that I can give is to write about what you are passionate about. When I was in the classroom, most of my posts stemmed from interactions with my students because everything – technology, assessment, philosophy, etc… – all work together to serve students. Now that I am in a role where I support educators, I still keep students at the forefront of my thinking. I find my balance by asking, “Does what I am writing have the potential to positively impact students?” If it does, then I publish it. If it does not, then I know that I am not on the right track.

Do not feel like you have have to be defined by any category. Just keep writing, keep reading, and keep interacting. The more that you do so, the more you will grow and the ore you will understand your purpose in supporting the community of educators for the benefit of all students.

I hope that you have gotten as much from reading this series as I have from writing it. If there is anything of value to take away, I hope that it is that you never stop learning.

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