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I recently read an article online about a train driver on the Yokohama Line leaving the conductor and all the passengers behind while he left the station without them because he was worried about being late. I remembered this event again after attending the EARCOS weekend workshop at YIS led by Chris Betcher and Kim Cofino, called The Networked Educator. On Monday, after attending the workshop, I became very excited about sharing all that I had learned from the workshop with colleagues in my school. I immediately had a serious talk with our technology coordinator and I told him that the three members of the COETAIL were going to be learning new tools and how to apply them in the classroom and that I really needed him to be on board with us or we were going to leave him behind. Fortunately, he eagerly wanted to join in on the discussions and wanted me to start making a list of articles he should read to help him get started. But before I could even do this, another member of my school from the Coetail had already made a Diigo group which included a lot of articles about what we had learned and had already emailed it to him.

I read Chris Betcher’s blog post on Coincidence or Connection. It reiterated the need to get my staff on board because we learn from each other and it is our connections that improve our chances to succeed.

Being around other people who are achieving excellence doesn’t reduce the likelihood that you’ll learn from them, it dramatically improves it! If you know someone who has reached the top of their chosen field, and you spend a lot of time with that person, it usually makes it more likely that you will succeed, not less. You get to share their passion and their enthusiasm, which often drives your own passion and enthusiasm forward as well.

I really enjoyed his analogies between things that we might think are coincidences but in reality actually happen because of the concept that “iron sharpens iron,” as stated in Proverbs from the Bible. We get our strength from the power of the group, and from the enthusiasm of others. I hope our enthusiasm continues throughout the school year and we can all grow together without leaving anyone behind.