I am an active member in the education community. I participate monthly in professional development events. I participate and present frequently at EdCamps, ICE events, Maker Faires, Google Education Groups, and conventions. These are all places you would expect to find great opportunities to grow as a teacher. They are only a fraction of places that a teacher can find meaningful growth opportunities.
I found a deeper community of educators when I branched out and attended sessions aimed at educators at a comic convention. Since then, I have been asked to be a guest at C2E2, Denver Comic Con(Pop Culture Classroom), Gary Con, and New York Comic Con. These may seem like strange places to present educational concepts but, they are increasingly hosting education centered days where teachers gather to discuss new concepts in connecting students to materials. Within my own classroom, I have developed new methods of using Learning Management Systems to implement Personalized Learning concepts. I have thrived in BYOD and 1:1 environments while still finding cost saving methods of connecting students with technology. I believe strongly in growing as a teacher and building a professional network that I can call on for ideas and contribute to in order to help others. When we go beyond the borders of education and find Professional Learning Communities that incorporate more stakeholders than we can find in our district we are exposed to new ideas that we can use to innovate in our classroom. We, as educators will grow more when we broaden our horizons and branch out into new places where education is a component rather than the whole.