Lots of quality conversation has being occurring around the importance of each educator building a professional learning network, a group of people that can feed an educators need for knowledge and learning. It is clear that we shouldn't be limiting our learning to only the colleagues with which we share kids. This has led me to the challenge for myself and my teachers to build a network of at least 10 people beyond the metro area that we learn from at least once a week. This is growing easier and easier with the use of tools like: Twitter, Google Reader, and Nings.
Beyond this challenge though, I believe that there is also a need to build a professional social network, a group of people whom you share common work experiences that you can enjoy life with. For me, this has included my friends from the St. Louis Principals' Academy. Last night, 15 of us found time to gather, break bread, have drinks, and enjoy the beautiful weather outside. The night was filled with laughter, empathy for the difficulty of our work, and just plain silliness. Though it brought me less minutes to sleep, the energy from the evening has recharged my battery for the end of the year. My Professional Social Network is key to me loving what I do and remaining balance, focused, and passionate about the community of education.