Amid summer's bliss, I have overextended myself. My head has been spinning this week with professional learning opportunities, to which I have said, "Yes, yes, and yes." Teachers Write! CyberPD! Edcamp Voxer! Not to mention this weekly slicing rhythm I've embraced or favorite Twitter chats I frequent. My virtual world has gotten so much bigger that now I feel an urgent need to pare it down, or at least prioritize my participation. I find myself wondering: "What matters most to me amid this smorgasbord? What should I keep versus let go?" I'm also reconsidering what strike me now as outmoded views of professional learning, carrying over from decades of brick-and-mortar experiences. Maybe, in the virtual world, it's okay to be partially engaged sometimes, to drift in and out, contributing what I can when I can, rather than being fully invested in each of these communities. Face-to-face settings would frown on that, I suspect, while online venues may actually thrive on the flux of participants. (Take that, fear of missing out!)
Writing and speaking may be related, but they feel worlds apart for me right now. Writing lands in my comfort zone, as evidenced by how this blogging habit is sticking and the facility I've felt navigating Twitter over the past year. In comparison to writing, speaking as a professional outlet proves itchily uncomfortable for me, highlighted by some Voxer dabbling today. I understand why. I'm at ease massaging writing until it says what I want to say and I deem it ready for an audience. In comparison, speaking feels like the ultimate first draft, words sent to the audience that can't be snatched back. That plants another question in my mind, one that will bear on my learning going forward as well as my interactions with students: "To what extent should I play to my perceived strengths versus stretch my envelope of expression?"