Saturday / April 13

Claiming Connectedness


I love personality tests. My favorite is the Gallup Strengthsfinder, a test many businesses use and one I was required to take in college. The test identifies your top five qualities or “strengths,” the most prominent aspects of your personality. One of mine was Connectedness. People who have the Connectedness strength believe:

  • We have a responsibility to each other to do the right thing
  • We are not alone, even when we feel like it
  • The good or bad things we do affect others
  • We can help each other

When I started hearing about “Connected Educators,” I immediately thought, “Hey! Connectedness is one of my strengths!” The more I’ve learned from working with amazing Connected Educators like Peter DeWitt, Eric Sheninger, Tom Whitby, and Kristen Swanson, the more I’ve seen how the characteristics of Connectedness also apply to being a Connected Educator.

A Connected Educator uses online media to practice Connectedness, for the purpose of bettering education.

A Connected Educator believes:

  • Online collaboration will help us become better educators
  • To be better educators, we must be better learners
  • By sharing my successes and failures online, I learn from those experiences, and others might be able to learn from them as well
  • It’s important to be open, honest, and transparent, and sharing helps us do that
  • Sharing online is one of the best ways to get feedback
  • I can learn from teachers and leaders across the globe
  • I have a responsibility to share what I’m doing so that it might help others
  • Other educators may have gone through what I’m experiencing, and they can support me
  • I can empathize with and support other educators
  • It is important to share the successes of my students
  • I have a responsibility to students to help other teachers

I took the Strengthsfinder quiz again last year and was devastated to see that Connectedness no longer showed up in my Top 5. I did some soul-searching, asking myself tough questions. Did I no longer believe in my responsibility to others? Did I no longer care about the affect my actions have? Absolutely not. Those beliefs haven’t changed, but my circumstances in life had changed so that other aspects of my personality were being strengthened and improved—so much so that those strengths ranked first. And that’s ok.

Even if Connectedness isn’t one of your strengths, it’s still something worth working on. Sometimes this is called “claiming” a strength.

I’m claiming Connectedness. This doesn’t mean I’m an expert—it means I know I’m not an expert and I want to learn from other educators. I want to learn from YOU.

Do you think Connectedness is one of your strengths? How do you practice Connectedness—personally and as an educator?

Written by

Ariel is the Acquisitions Editor for Technology and General Methods at Corwin, and editor of Corwin Connect. When not working, you can usually find Ariel doing yoga at the beach, reading with a glass of wine, or writing a book review on her blog, One Little Library.

Latest comments

  • I have not gotten “connected” through the online aspect but being “connected to others is so important. There is no reason any of us need to reinvent the wheel. We can learn so much by sharing and collaborating with others. Connecting online is something I want to try as the possibilities of learning are endless!

    • Thanks, Lorna. I agree – we’re all here with the same goal, after all! Connecting online is a great way to share and learn. If you want to get connected, I suggest starting by following the people I mentioned above on Twitter and/or searching a popular education Twitter chat like #edchat or #satchat (on Saturday mornings). Just watch the conversation and join in when you feel comfortable. 🙂

  • Ariel,
    I really enjoyed this post. The list that you provided is so important and definitely captures the essence of the connected journey. Glad you were able to get Corwin Connects up and running!

    • Thanks, Peter! I learned from the experts!

leave a comment