Thing 37: Join Me for Some Professional & Personal Development?

For this tool, I thought I’d write about two things I decided to try, one a professional development, the other a personal development.

Professional Development:

I had gotten an email about an online class AASL was offering called Learn to Tweet and I was intrigued. I’ve been on Twitter for over 5 years now but I’ve always felt like I could be getting more out if. The class was only four weeks long and a reasonably priced $25, so I decided “Why not?” and signed up.

I’m halfway through the class and I’ve really been enjoying it. Even as someone who isn’t a complete Twitter novice, I’ve gotten something out of every week. The first week, I mostly just tuned up my list of people to follow by adding people from my class but, I also found some people I thought for sure I was following and wasn’t! The second week, my big discovery was Twitter lists. I had no idea you could create and manage lists for your Twitter feed much less follow other people’s lists! I’ve slowly been working on creating and managing my Twitter lists and I’m very excited about them! One of my biggest problems with Twitter is that sometimes, it just feels so unmanageable to weed through all the Tweets on my timeline. With lists, I’ll be able to select exactly which group of people I follow I want to see Tweets from at the given moment and really make the most of however much time I have to be on Twitter at that moment. Mind blown, game changed…

We’re working on Live Twitter Chats this coming week and super nervous about them-I’ve participated in them to some extent whenever I’ve gone to a conference and followed/used the conference hashtag but not to the level of a scheduled Twitter Chat like, TLChat for example. Wish me luck!

Here are some of the resources/readings that I’ve found helpful in this class so far:

  • Mashable’s Twitter etiquette guide  -appropriate etiquette is always important to understand
  • Using Bit.ly to shorten URLs in Tweets-I’ve always used Google’s URL shortner but a cool feature she pointed out about Bit.ly is that it has a Chrome extension that allows you to not only shorten the URL, but also allows you to tweet it right from the extension, without having to go to Twitter
  • Twitter Lists- I already mentioned these but here’s a link to their Help page about Twitter Lists
  • Did you know Twitter has an advanced search option? Neither did I! Here a link to their Help page about advanced searches

(Oh, and if you want, you can follow me @SerenaWaldron and see how I’m doing with my goal of more frequent tweeting-maybe some day I’ll even have to take that line about “sporadic tweeter” out of my bio)

Professional Development:

In April, we found out we’ll be losing all of our library clerks in my district. The incredible go-getter she is, my clerk had already found another job before the month was over. We’ve been fortunate that the new job offers her the flexibility to still work with me two days a week for the remainder of the school year. I’ve been trying to look at these last few weeks with her here reduced hours as a wonderful opportunity to start truly understanding how things will change next year, what challenges I will face without her, and the solutions we may utilize. I’ve only worked at this district in my short career so I’ve always had a clerk. I know many other librarians don’t have or have never had this luxury but I’m so very nervous about making it work next year.

One of my biggest worries is time/task management and staying organized. Which is why, when my most recent issue of Scholastic Teacher magazine arrived, I jumped right to the article with organization tips from top experts. The article mentioned that one of the experts featured, Maia Heyck-Merlin, had a book called The Together Teacher. Intrigued, I hopped online and found her website, The Together Group. I was inspired by the blog posts I read and impressed with free resources available, so I decided to not only order her book, I’ve also been working my way through a 6 week free MOOC course she set up to go with the book (there’s a paid option too if you want a certificate of completion but if you don’t want/need that, totally free).

I have been learning tons about myself and my organizational preferences. I’ve also learned that while I’m pretty organized in many areas (I kick butt at having a comprehensive calendar), I have definite weak points (managing my ongoing to do list) that could become a problem next year if I don’t proactively adopt some strategies.

Right now, I’m working on creating the template of my ideal week and after that, I’m going start using the weekly worksheets. It’s definitely one of those things that feels way too time consuming sometimes but I know getting in these habits now will more than pay off next year. Plus, once these things become habit and routine, the time it takes to create them will lessen and they won’t feel like yet another arduous thing to do…

So, those are the things I decided to try out with my You Pick! time-I’m enjoying them both and optimistic that they’ll be positive additions to my life! 

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2 thoughts on “Thing 37: Join Me for Some Professional & Personal Development?

  1. Nice work with the DIY. Love how you took the opportunity to dig in and do some things that will really benefit you. Twitter lists are such a great feature, and a well kept secret! Thanks for sharing the mooc link, I’m going to take a look into that one.

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