Circle of Influence

I did it!  I actually am writing a blog.  Blog writers, such as by George Couros and A.J. Juliani have empowered me to start writing.  You should, too!  Just a warning…this is all about ideas.  I am not an accomplished writer and I do not have an editor outside of Grammarly.

My blog is called Circle ED.  Why?  Funny actually…ideas of titles were rolling around in my head for weeks.  I was reflecting on a recent switch I have made in my career.  I was a Director of Instructional Technology in Madison, WI for the past 3 years, Director of Instructional Technology in a smaller district for 2 years, and in education for a total of 23 years.  Working in a large, political district with high stakes built on systems and standards (watch Jennie Magiera’s Ted Talk)  had a toll my motivation to innovate. This quote by George got me through:

Aside from innovating within the box,  I have a strong desire to make a difference and have a wider circle of influence.

I needed to define what that meant to me.  I found a resource from Choosing Change explaining the circle of influence based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.   It said:

By focusing attention and energy on our circle of influence, we become increasingly proactive. The energy we expend is enlarging; each little victory motivates us to find new ways of exerting influence.

 And so our circle of influence expands. It often happens that, in widening our circle of influence, we also widen our circle of concern. It becomes worth caring about some of the really challenging things in our world if we learn we can influence them. It can be incredibly liberating to realize that, in choosing how to respond to circumstances, we affect those circumstances.

The stars aligned when CESA 2 was looking for a Digital Learning leader to support 74 districts with innovative strategies to transform learning.  YAY!  My circle of influence can expand and widen that circle of concern, as well, to conquer some of the educational barriers to bring more “Power to the Pupil” (Jennie Magiera).

Now you say, Beth- you can influence others on social media, and I do truly believe in that.  Like I said, I have my favs on Twitter, Google+, blogs, and podcasts, AND that is the reason to start blogging.  But I really like to see the influence on people’s faces — the ah-ha moments, the breakthroughs, the “I can do it!” moments.

So back to the title.  The name of this blog is Circle ED because I am hoping that the circle of innovative and transformative influence can ripple far and wide.  The funny part is that my initials are ED (Elizabeth Doreen) as well.  So circle with me, ripple ideas out, and let’s learn together!



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