Late last spring I received an invitation from editor, Carolyn Starkey, to write an article for AASL's November/December issue of Knowledge Quest, with the theme, "personal learning networks". I immediately responded in the positive and started brainstorming about how I could contribute a unique perspective on this important subject.
I'll tell you the truth. I reminded myself of a high school student. I did a lot of worrying about the deadline, but not a lot of writing until the July submission date was imminent. It was a valuable exercise and gave me renewed sympathy/understanding for the teens that receive assignments every day. It isn't easy to write well even about something you are passionate about. What is it like to write about topics you aren't interested in?
I wasn't doing a research paper, but I felt like I was experiencing all the emotions described in Kulthau's Model of the Information Search Process, especially doubt. I felt very uncertain about what I might have to offer my AASL colleagues.
I managed to get over the hump, finding a sense of direction and gaining confidence. I finished the text, gathered image permissions and sent it off just before the due date.
When the November/December issue arrived last week, the process was complete. I felt a strong sense of accomplishment and received some nice recognition from my district colleagues and PLN contacts.
One of the great articles in the issue, by Gail Dickinson, @gailkd "Professional Learning Networks through Publishing" reinforces this idea of learning through writing for your peers. I would encourage any of my fellow school librarians to give it a try.
@dvoacy: Using your PLN to Build Support for the School Library Program. Knowledge Quest November/December 2012 p. 42