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Thursday, April 4, 2019

More Meaningful Networking

I have to admit that if I were a DKG member today, I would have some difficulty in selecting which of the five upcoming international conferences to attend! This is not just because the themes themselves are so relevant and rich educationally, but also because attendance at any given conference would link me with members whose interests and/or passions are aligned with my own. In other words, while it is wonderful to network with members from a given area or region, it seems to me to be much more powerful to network with those who share my interests or needs a bit more specifically.

A number of years ago, members suggested that DKG find a way to link members who shared professional job titles (primary grade educators, college professors, media specialists, counselors, administrators, etc.) or positions in DKG (editors, membership chairs, educational excellence chairs, etc.).  Alternatively, members suggested that linking members with common interests—gardening, book clubs, travel, art, etc.— would also be great! The thought was that having a network of colleagues in similar positions or with similar interests would be a powerful source of support and growth. From this thought evolved the Communities available on the MyDKG segment of the DKG website—currently home to 14 topic/job areas.

This same kind of “linking” will be possible through the five international conferences, where members with similar interests will have a chance to learn and share with each other. In other words, the arbitrary structure of regions will be replaced with a structure of mutual interest and growth. And while members may enjoy renewing friendships based on regions, developing friendships and networks relevant to one’s personal and professional growth will be more powerful. Through such professional networks, we will continue forward moving ever.

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