Connections

 

By @WomenEd_US and Kimberly Lane Clark @askatechnogirl

 

Making professional connections is vital to an educational leader’s success. If you don’t have a strong support system around you, it’s essential to find ways to structure a meaningful support system, whether through face to face communication or technology. Connections are all about shared values.

Cultivating these connections can occur through outside agencies, social media, group meetings, in-person PLCs, video chats, webinars and attending conferences. You also can work to build a connected culture around you. 

Connections can profoundly change the efficacy of your educational leadership. For our @WomenEd_US October 2019 Twitter Chat, Kimberly Lane Clark, otherwise known as @askatechnogirl, gave us insight into how to create lasting and meaningful connections in the educational leadership landscape. Feel free to revisit our Twitter Chat from October and read the interview below for an in-depth perspective from Kim!

Hi Kim, welcome to our @WomenEd_US Twitter Chat Spotlight. We are so interested in hearing more about how you have made professional #Connections throughout your career. To start off, what is your job title and what are your responsibilities?

I am the director of Blended Learning and I assist teachers, staff, and parents with Google trainings, developing personalized learning, integration of technology, and virtual learning.

What connects you with #WomenEd's mission and vision?

The mission and vision align with my purpose and passion. It is my mission is to develop opportunities for young ladies to have a pathway to leadership.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Willingness to delegate and not afraid to jump in and get my hands dirty. I deal with tons of projects at work, and sometimes I have to make quick decisions. Sometimes making those quick decisions may not be my duty, but I have to serve our campus. An example of this would be serving the campus on the first day of school registration- stepping in as a leader and doing whatever is needed to be done at that time

Please describe in detail a time when you overcame an obstacle in your leadership journey.

When I was in undergrad school, I had a professor tell me that she didn’t think that majoring in technology was for women and that I should choose another path. I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn't overcome the naysayers in the room. I have wanted to do this since I was a little girl- I got that name techno girl in school. At that point in time there was no major in educational technology and there was only one campus & school that was in educational technology in Mississippi. It didn’t translate at all into the job field...I ended up having to go back [to school] and do alternative certification; I had to take another certification because ed tech cert didn’t exist. My advisor wanted me to take tech ed instead but it didn’t entail what I wanted to do. Educational technology was something really new.

What does being #10%braver mean to you?

Being able to say no when the entire room will not speak up! This means just being the only woman in the room a lot of times. Always having to make sure that you’re on the forefront of technology and that other people are having an opportunity.

What are some of the challenges/barriers you have faced in your leadership role?

Being the only strong-willed woman in the room and suffering from the imposter syndrome.
Challenges that I have faced in my leadership role is balancing work and life. Understanding that it is okay to fail. I suffer from imposter syndrome I think to the 100th power. I was gonna start a blog post about that and didn't finish it. I was the only woman of color in a room in Australia...I kept thinking why do I belong here, how can I possibly be chosen to be here... an African American girl from Mississippi at that! When I get asked to do keynotes I always think they chose the wrong person. I always struggle with that no matter how successful I am...every day.

 Please describe your strengths and talents.

My strengths consist of advocating for inequalities and motivating others to step up to the plate and create change. My talents are being able to motivate. Advocating starts in my homefront at my school. I make opportunities for our kids at the school; inequalities exist because of lack of opportunities. Anything I see like a contest or a field trip- I make sure my students get those opportunities. Some places are looking for kids for low income...and I am making sure they have those opportunities on a daily basis. When you talk to girls in other schools they don’t have STEM or computer sciences...not all students have to be interested in computer science but they need the opportunity to choose.

How do you embody at least one (or more!) of #WomenEd's values in your educational leadership practice?

I embody all of the #WomenEd values everyday. I believe in taking new opportunities and being #10%braver. Highlighting systemic barriers to be more inclusive/diverse leadership is important.

You can learn more about Kimberly Lane by following her @askatechnogirl (all platforms), or by following her website: https://www.askatechnogirl.com/

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