Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When a PLN "Circles the Wagons"

As the pieces have fallen together over at Navasota Intermediate, something interesting has happened.

Let me start by giving you a little background.  Navasota Intermediate is being "reconstituted".  Essentially that means that when they hired me as the new Principal, I had to come in and hire a new staff.  I did keep about 4 of the previous staff, but because of where things had ended up the district was looking for a "fresh start".

I accepted the position knowing that I had no experience as a School Administrator, but strangely enough I wasn't intimidated.

And the last two months have proven to me why I wasn't intimidated.  Over the last two years I've built a PLN (personal learning network).  It's people that I met online (through Twitter) who I vent to, learn from, grow with, etc.

After accepting the position and beginning to rebuild the campus, something happened.  What happened was my PLN began to "circle the wagons".  I can't even begin to express the emotional overwhelmingness over the last two months of receiving texts, phone calls, Voxer messages, tweets, Facebook messages, and more.  People were genuinely excited for me and the future of that campus.  But so much more than that, they wanted to help, however they could.  ISTE was a huge eye opener for me this year as person after person came up to me offering help.

Crazily enough, what has begun to happen is that Navasota Intermediate is quickly becoming an example of what can happen when you build a "PLN school".  It's so much humbling to watch different people I admire or respect offer their time and resources to help us grow and become the best we can be for these kids.  Even education companies have come onboard to help us in our mission.

I have a few educators on my staff who understand the power of social media, but more and more are learning.  I sit in an airport right now, on my way to Podstock in Kansas, and I can't even truly comprehend what is happening or what is coming for Navasota.

Every day I show up to work this summer brimming with ideas.  Then I come in contact with one of my new teachers, or a group of new employees, or my admin team, and I am just filled with so much joy and pride.  I am honored to work along side these people we've selected for Navasota Intermediate.  I believe strongly that we can build a school that changes things.  Build a school where every student is valued, where every child finds their version of success, and where learning happens.  I know there are amazing schools out there, but it's so exciting to be building one, pretty much from scratch, and watching my PLN "circle the wagons" to help.

The world better watch out, Navasota Intermediate (with the help of my PLN) is about to make some waves.

16 comments:

  1. We are all looking forward to viewing the changes from afar, keep us informed and give us visibility of how things go in 2014/2015. We will be watching with hands extended for help and ready to give a hug when needed!

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    1. Thanks so much man! Oh you know me, I'll be tweeting, blogging, facebooking, and instagraming the whole way! True "open door" and "glass house" school!

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  2. Todd I love the enthusiasm and I can't wait to see all the great things you, your staff and your students will accomplish! I look forward to learning from you.

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    1. Thanks Jon! But I can guarantee that you and I will be learning together. Honored to "know" you and call you friend!

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  3. Todd, congratulations on your new position! I know we will be seeing awesome things from Navasota Intermediate. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks so much Crystal! Yep, can't wait to see what the future holds!

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  4. Whenever I read your blog my thoughts pretty much go this way: "I wish I lived in Texas." "I wish I was a certified Intermediate teacher." "I wish I was a staff member at Navasota Intermediate." "I wish I could work for Todd Nesloney." I love watching the pieces come together! Oh, the places you'll go!

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    1. Aw thanks Karen! If you ever move down to Texas contact me :-)

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  5. Sometimes during #ALedchat, someone will write, "What if we were all at the same school?! That would be powerful!" Your blog post is a great reminder that we don't have to physically be at the same school to be on the same team. We're all looking forward to learning along with you on this journey, and while we're not physically "with" you, we're just a tweet, phone call, DM, text, Vox, (etc) away. :-) And we're definitely WITH you.
    Jennifer

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  6. It goes to show you that support can come from anywhere & anytime! After listening/watching your RSCON5 presentation last weekend I can definitely tell that you have a heart for kids and will work hard to make sure this year gives your school a new, fresh start. As a leader, you'll inspire your staff and students to do great things.

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    1. Thanks! I sure hope I inspire my staff to do great things!

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  7. I want to thank you for including all of us in your Summer Learning Series. I know you will have touched the lives of millions of children by sharing your knowledge and training so many teachers this summer. I hope that all you have given comes back to you and your staff at Navasota. Thank you for lifting all of us up. I feel blessed. Enjoy your time in Kansas! I wish I was home and able to meet you. Next time...

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  8. Congratulations on the new position! Go make some waves!

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