[Check out the video, "Everyday Leadership," http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership.html, by Drew Dudley, on TED Talks]
As educators we have likely provided countless "lollipop moments" for our students and their parents. What I love about Drew Dudley's message here is that as student teachers, new teachers, and seasoned professionals, we have the opportunity to be leaders in our classrooms, our educational institutions, our professional organizations, and beyond. What would it be like for YOU to take the leadership role in a group project for your teacher's prep program? What about in your student teaching placement? What about as a new professional in a professional organization? More pointedly, what impact would that have on your career?
I encourage you to take a few moments today to contemplate who has given YOU a "lollipop" in the past year. Write a quick note to these people letting them how much you appreciate their leadership. This is a simple, yet, IMPACTFUL, way of networking. This is what I call authentic networking--networking for relationships.
Then, I encourage you to research what professional organizations are relevant to your niche in PK-12 education. Every teacher is a leader--you have at least 20 students following your every move. Leverage these leadership skills outside of the classroom:
- to see whom you will meet (Maybe your next principal? Maybe your next mentor?);
- to contribute knowledge and enthusiasm to your profession;
- to open yourself to opportunities to receive more "lollipops" as well as give away more "lollipops."
If you don't, who will? Here's a list of professional organizations to get you started!
Helen L. Roy, MEd.
Career Readiness Advisor
National Louis University, IL