All You Need is Love

photo 1 (3)It’s always wonderful to reconnect with old friends. This afternoon, I had just that opportunity in going to Stella’s 2nd birthday party. Her mom, Tainá, and I have been friends since our teenage years, and I have always admired her excellent taste in all things, ranging from fashion to design to photography. She chose the Beatles – Yellow Submarine as the theme for her little girl’s birthday party, and everything looked absolutely gorgeous, as things usually do when they have Tainá’s touch.

And so it was, to the tunes of the Beatles, that I met another old friend of mine, Verena, and as incredible as it may sound (you will know what I mean if you have small children), we actually managed to sit down and talk for a little while. She asked me what was it that I had been doing lately, if I had been engaged in any new projects, saying that she had noticed some different type and amount of activity in my Facebook timeline. I explained to her that I’d been very much engaged in professional (and personal) development, and that I’d been connecting with very interesting people and educators from all around the globe via Twitter. She then told me about her professional moment, and the fact that she’d been doing a lot of writing on her professional area – she is a psychologist who’s been working as a Body Talk therapist for some years now. She told me about a feeling she has had lately, being engaged with creating relevant content in her area, as well as translating a lot of content related to the Body Talk system to Portuguese, that it might be time that she started blogging. She said that so much of her reading and learning lately had been happening on the blogosphere. I told her I’d taken to blogging myself, and that I’d been having a wonderful time at it. “If you’re looking to connect, and feel you have something to say, you should definitely go for it,” I said to her. And I sincerely hope she follows through with her blogging intentions, for she is such a brilliant woman, with so much soul and so much to contribute to the world.

I came home invigorated by our talk, happy that we’d had a chance of reconnecting the way we did. I was reminded of the feeling I had just as I was about to embark in the blogging experience, which was to experiment with my thoughts, to connect with others, to learn, and to find my true voice. If you are also contemplating the idea of starting your own blog, I say go for it. It’s such a pleasant challenge. Because, after all, we should never forget one thing:

…and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

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 …and a strong PLN (online and offline)!

Set sail for finding my Voice (Part 1)

This is the first of three posts in gratitude for the people who are making a difference in my professional and personal development journey.

“If you don’t know you need others, you don’t know much.”  – Dan Rockwell

For the last fifteen years, I have had the privilege of working at an institute that not only greatly values  but also fosters professional development among teachers and administrators. Even before becoming a supervisor, I’d been listening to Carla Arena, our Educational Technology expert, go on about the endless possibilities that technology offers us in order to optimize the learning experiences of our students. I can clearly remember the feeling whenever I walked out of her countless training sessions – a mixture of eagerness to engage, to productively incorporate technology in my lessons, and an awkward perplexity, a sort of ‘overwhelmedness’, which would then result in my ineffectiveness at putting any of those ‘tech’ intentions into practice.

Five years ago, I became a supervisor and I kept on drinking from Carla’s well of vast tech knowledge – via formal training sessions and via informal conversations between cohorts. Little did I know that the tiny seed Carla had planted over a decade ago would finally begin to blossom in me – and indeed it did – fifteen years later. It was another colleague and friend of mine, Ronaldo Lima Jr, who introduced me to the wonders of Twitter. I must say, however, that it did not sink in until about a couple of months ago, when it finally dawned on me that Twitter could actually be a powerful professional (and personal) development tool. It had been over a year since Ronaldo literally sat down with me and showed me the Tweet basics, going as far as even sharing with me a list of his own crème-de-la-crème followees, a handful of Tweeple he read and admired.

Flash forward 15 years… 

Let me add yet another layer to this story. It involves a feedback session on my 2013 self-evaluation as course supervisor, skillfully delivered by my academic superintendent Isabela Villas Boas and head supervisor Katia Falcomer, in which they went on about all of my managerial strengths and skills, thanking me for my dedication and effort, but also proposed a reflection: how active had I been as a teacher trainer? That brought up  questions such as ‘why didn’t I become more engaged in teacher-training projects of my own?’ and ‘what was I waiting to become a presenter in our institute’s annual seminar?’ and even ‘how engaged was I to my own professional development?’

Something’s gotta give…

I went home for my recess holidays with more questions than answers. I didn’t know where to start. I let it all simmer for a couple of days, and as I did so, I felt compelled to give Twitter another go. Little did I know (again!) that I’d be taking the definitive leap right there and then. There would be no going back after that. I was in it for quite a treat! I came across George Couros‘s blog The Principal of Change (part of Ronaldo’s crème de la crème) and after perusing it for a little while, I thought “what an interesting person! Let me watch his TEDx Talk.” It was as if he was talking to me. George Couros had finally helped me determine what was it exactly that I was soul searching for: my VOICE.

Way too many questions to my answers

‘Way too many questions to my answers’ by Németh Szilvia is licensed under CC by 2.0

Thank you Dan, Carla, Ronaldo, Isabela, Katia and George.