With the numerous initiatives that are swirling around education, initiative fatigue is a worry of mine. The catch-22 is the amount of new information that needs to be in-serviced on, versus the capacity of teachers to absorb additional change.
As I have been thinking about how to capture the attention of the teachers I work with, I began to think about how I use my email signature line. In the past I've had a quote, but I find myself ignoring these quotes more frequently as they have become common place.
In order to capture teachers' attention, I decided to move in a different direction with my email signature line. It started off with the top three lines (see below), as a way to promote my professional digital presence in a unique way.
I then added the last line, which is a rotating article that ties into the change initiatives I am currently leading in my District.
Finally, I added the twitter section in the middle. I firmly believe that wide spread adoption of personal learning networks is a key component in re-inforcing and encoding the shifts that are currently underway in the field. We can't 'professional development' our way out of the change hole we find ourselves in. Individual teachers have to be empowered to take ownership for their own professional learning and development. As the time to teach this change is scarce, I'm using my email signature to promote and teach this as well.
The key, to me, is the unexpected place where the learning opportunity appears. The uniqueness is what I hope will make it enticing for teachers to spend the extra few minutes to click through and be led to the information I have for them.
The second key is to vary they content of the email signature frequently. If it becomes static, it will be ignored, just like the quotes I've been turning my head to lately.