There have been many people who have influenced and continue to influence me on the web. In fact, it is very difficult to limit this to 10! I probably could have made my entire 100 list based on those who influence my thinking. I will limit it to 10 here though. If you don’t know these educators already, you should check out their blogs. These bloggers are listed in no particular order.
10 Influential-To-Me Non-Teacher
Chris Kennedy – Chris is the Superintendent of Schools / CEO with the West Vancouver School District. He writes the inspirational “Culture of Yes” blog. Chris was the first guest speaker at our Engaging the Digital Learner dinner series in our district. He was inspiring and reinforced my belief that we must start with the leaders in education to make a difference in the 21st Century Learning Model. You can follow him @chrkennedy on Twitter.
Chris Wejr – Chris is a school principal at Kent Elementary School in Agassiz, BC. He writes a blog titled, The Wejr Board, where he writes about the present and future of education. He often writes personal, inspiring blog posts as well. Chris has really made me rethink the use of Awards in schools and how these negatively impact students. You can see a detailed list of his blog posts about this topic here. In addition though, the Choice Program that operates at Chris’ school is inspiring. Parent Engagement is also a passion of Chris Wejr’s. If this is an area of interest for you, as I am sure it is for all educators and leaders in education, you may want to check out his blog. You can follow Chris @mrwejr on Twitter.
George Couros – I have been following George on Twitter and reading his blog since last July. He writes the Principal of Change Blog a Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning with Parkland School Division, located in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada. We were very fortunate to have George come visit our district recently. You can read about more of his inspiring initiatives here. George is the founder of Connected Principals, a collective-style blog where principals around the world post about areas of interest related to education and 21st Century Learning. You can follow Connect Principals on Twitter by following the hash tag, #cpchat. You can follow George on Twitter @gcouros.
Jessica Johnson is an elementary school principal in rural Wisconsin. She writes a blog titled, Reflections from an Elementary School Principal, in which she writes about her experience as a leader in an elementary school. She was one of the first people to help me negotiate my way around Twitter. Once I started following her on Twitter and reading her blog, I realized we have a lot in common. She inspires me to try new things and to be transparent with staff. It is because of Jessica that I want to learn more about Podcasts. You can follow Jessica on Twitter @PrincipalJ.
Justin Tarte– When I first started following Justin on Twitter, he was in the midst of beginning his new role as a secondary vice-principal, which he started this past fall. It was interesting reading his thoughts and insight about what he thought it was going to be like in his new role and then, as the year progressed, reading how the reality of his new role progressed. As a beginning administrator, Justin always amazed me with his insight, dedication, and thoughtfulness. If you are looking for some excellent professional development sources to share with staff, Justin has some great ideas and resources posted on his blog. You can follow Justin on Twitter @justintarte.
Erin Paynter – Erin is an elementary vice-principal from Ottawa, Canada. She writes a blog titled, Inside Erin’s Head – Reflections on Leading and Learning. She writes heart-felt posts about what it is like working as a leader in education, while still trying to balance her teaching role as well. While Erin took a short hiatus from blogging, she has returned, and I am glad! You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinpaynter.
Lyn Hilt is an elementary school Principal in a rural district in Pennsylvania. She writes in a blog titled, The Principal’s Posts. Lyn also writes for Connected Principals. Lyn is well-respected for her intelligent and thoughtful posts where she continually questions herself as a way to improve. She is another inspiring principal. Lyn was one of the presenters I saw at an online conference last summer, entitled The Reform Symposium (RSCON3). Here is a Slideshare for one of her presentations. You can follow Lyn on Twitter @l_hilt.
John Robinson writes the 21st Century Principal blog from his hometown of Newton, North Carolina. He is currently the principal of a high school. John includes very useful information for administrators, including ideas for ways to use some apps and Web 2.0 tools. I find him to be very inspirational. You can follow John on Twitter @21stPrincipal.
Eric Sheninger is the principal at New Milford High School located in Bergen County, NJ. He writes a blog titled, A Principal’s Reflections. Eric posts on his blog regularly, usually reflecting on his practise and on the challenges and successes he faces. He is a wealth of information and inspiration. You can follow Eric on Twitter @NMHS_Principal.
Mike McKay is the Superintendent in the district in which I work as a vice-principal. He writes a blog titled: This We Know. This We Do which he started in October, 2011. I would be amiss if I did not include Mike on this list because of how strongly I believe that leaders have to lead by example. By starting his blog, and regularly contributing to it, I believe he is leading by example. While it may be difficult to show himself as a learner in the position he holds, this is imperative if he wants to encourage the other leaders in the district (and teachers and students) to also model their own learning. You can follow Mike on Twitter @McKaySD36.
If you want to read some other administrator blogs, you may want to take a look at the nominees for the EduBlog Awards for Best Administrator Blog, 2011. You may also want to follow some of the administrator’s who write for Connected Principals. You can find a list of contributors here and here. I am not able to follow all of these blogs, but you might find some good ones that you connect with and would like to follow.
It is important to understand that I am not able to read all of what each these educator’s write. While I would like to read more of their blogs, there just isn’t enough time in the day. We must be kind to ourselves and know that there are certain times of year when we are able to read blogs than others. Keep this in mind when you are exploring blogs for yourself.
Who are you favourite non-teacher Edu-Bloggers to follow?
There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am a Principal of an elementary school Langley, BC. Lastly, I am a person who loves photography. I gain so much enjoyment and satisfaction taking photos. I have learned a great deal about photography since I purchased my first dSLR in 2008. There is so much more to learn though! All three of these things help to describe who I am as a person, but also demonstrate my love of learning - nothing is ever stagnant with any of these. I love to learn!