This blogpost is addressed to my own locale, teachers in Greece. If it looks like an attempt to influence people, you are right, it is! Some of the comments may be true of other places on the globe – wherever you are, I would love to read your comments!
Who they are
The “Usual Suspects” is not the name of a music group or a TV series, but it is a metaphor for a group, a small group in actual fact, of dedicated professional educators who form my PLN (Personal Learning Network).
I see them everywhere, I follow them everywhere, on Twitter, on Facebook, on the various education Nings which you can see listed on my personal blog, in Second Life even, and they do me the honour of following me back.
No matter how hard I try, the circle does not seem to be getting much larger. It does acquire a few more members after important events, such as the ISTEK Schools Conference or the IATEFL Harrogate 2010 Conference, or the Virtual Round Table, but never a significant number of individuals.
These “usual suspects” are passionate, engaged, fun to be with, warm and caring, ambitious and bright, smart and sharp, keen to develop, great sharers, dedicated to education, fully committed to the pursuit of excellence.
They are always there when there is any event, on or off line, I see the same names; I look for new names, hopefully of teachers or trainees I have been trying to engage, but the new faces that, at least I try to involve and engage, are usually few and far between.
Recently there has been some heated discussion re VIP’s and non VIP’s. Sure, I do have some VIP’s in my PLN but I also have a lot of not so well known teachers, trainers, presenters, who I value equally; some I value even more than certain well known ELT personae, and the greatest gift is that if I need help, there is always someone there who is willing to offer it.
Many teachers think this is a clique of names and celebs; some are sharp enough to recognise the value and power of networking; a few take to it like a duck to water and are now engaged in daily conversations with some of the so-called gurus of our profession.
These individual teachers are certainly more visible than someone who doesn’t blog, doesn’t use Twitter, or uses Facebook as a place to play Farmville or similar. Don’t get me wrong, although I don’t like this game, I don’t have a problem with people who play this as long it’s not the only thing they do!
These individual teachers will certainly have more career options than those who don’t, simply because they will be there when the opportunity arises.
So, don’t stay at home and moan about how unlucky you are and how some people get all the breaks – they don’t. They make their own breaks while you stay home and moan about it.
Life is too short to be alone or to be jealous. You can be a part of this too.
Become a usual suspect yourself!
- Follow me on Twitter – you can find me by my user name, @Marisa_C
- Follow as many of the people I follow as you possibly can
- Engage with them – retweet any links you like and tweet links you have discovered yourself
And if you don’t know how to use Twitter, please watch this great tutorial by Russell Stannard.
Related Blog Posts & Websites
- Do you Blog or do you just do Facebook? by Marisa Constantinides
- Why do we Connect? by Shelly Terrell
Since many of the “usual suspects” I am referring to in this blog post have started responding to this post, I thought it might be a good idea for me to introduce them to you hoping you will be motivated to include them in your own PLN.