Thursday, 30 October 2014

Personal professional development and personal learning networks - @SLTcamp

I started my twitter journey around 18 months ago. Taking the leap to follow people was the first step and I was so lucky to come across a tweet in August 2013 about @SLTcamp. I had really enjoyed taking part in the weekly #sltchat and thought it would be really good PPD to spend an entire weekend with twitter SLT. So I signed up.

After driving for 3 hours the scariest part was arriving in the dark to a youth hostel with no phone signal. I also had never met any of the people who had signed up. I had looked up participants' profiles on twitter in the hope that I would then recognise people when I arrived. I shouldn't have had any worries. As soon as I arrived a fellow camper said I was in the right place and that the teachmeet would be starting in a while, once food and people were ready. Some people had even flown in for the weekend. We were all expecting a great weekend.

Everyone had arrived expecting to participate in healthy discussion and "Chatham House" rules were in place, providing a safe environment for sharing and debating issues and solutions. The Friday evening teachmeet sparked lots of post-presentation chats and many campers stayed up for long discussions and building networks. Evening entertainment, helped break any ice that was hanging around and set the tone for the entire weekend. PPD in a fun environment. Where else can you go to spend an entire weekend building personal learning networks and focussing on your own PPD? @SLTcamp was that opportunity.

I learnt so much from my time with sparky SLT campers that I have signed up again for @SLTcamp 2014. I'm even prepared to drive for over 4 hours this year just to have my PLN and PPD top up for the academic year. As a veteran my expectations are high. I know that if I get as much out of it as I did last year, I will leave with a book full of notes and take another year to implement things that I have learnt.

If you have not signed up for SLT camp 2014 then do read some of last year's blogs. If you are a long standing Headteacher, aspirant senior leader, senior middle leader or even an established member of SLT then the weekend will have something for you. Who knows what "golden nuggets" will end up being shared this year?

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