As I started on this post, I thought about its synonyms and first thought of the words "plugged in" and that reminded me of "charged". We connect to a socket and once plugged in, our devices are charged. For me, especially since my district is 1:1, there was definitely a connection, no pun intended. I later went to thesaurus.com and looked up the word "connected" to find some more synonyms and below is a screenshot of the results.
At first, I thought of a connected educator as one who is on the cutting edge. An educator who tweets, attends edcamps, leads PD sessions at local schools or other districts. Basically, an innovative educator who is up to date on all the latest strategies and technologies. However, after reading this article on Edutopia last night and after reviewing the list above, I've changed my thinking a little. While being innovative and technology-driven is certainly part of being connected, that's not where the focus needs to be. First and foremost, we must be connected to the young lives that are entrusted to us every day. They are the reason we are in this profession to begin with. It's not about the latest gadget, teaching strategy or expanding our PLN, it's about connecting with our students - capturing their hearts and minds. It's not about imparting knowledge, although that will inevitably occur, but it's about laying a sturdy foundation for lifelong learning and continual growth.
You might read this and say "well, duh". We all know that is our bottom line, but that line is easily blurred in the busyness of keeping up with all our duties and our growth ambitions.
So as we aim to be more connected, let's make sure we are plugged in to the right source - our students - and enable them to be charged up and ready for success, wherever their lives may lead them.