I once had an administrator tell me, as I was, and still am working my way up the ranks in college and my career that it is lonely at the top. I had great respect for her and smiled while thinking, how can you be lonely? You are amazing!
I am far from the top, but feel the stagnancy of loneliness as I try to grow and learn.  I have searched, begged, and tried to recruit mentors over the last seven years. I have found that people are comfortable with where they are in their busy lives and often my interest and passion for extension does not align with their direction of growth. I tend to be an innovator who likes to rearrange the way the box looks. This may be good, bad, or indifferent, but it is who I am.
In the beginning, I filled this void by reading everything I could get my hands on in regards to leadership, writing, and education. Books became my mentor. It was a one way conversation, but I felt guided and nurtured by the experiences within the pages.  I recently listened to the book Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk.
He introduced me to the idea of taking my passion, which is educational technology, and creating a blog.  He suggested joining twitter and other social networking sites to promote my passion. I started my blog which is slowly taking shape, but I have been entranced by the opportunity that twitter has opened for me.
What a wealth of information and people to learn from and with. In some ways twitter is like my books, one sided, but in other ways it is dimensional  and I can communicate with others on twitter, but better yet, I am introduced to blogs that speak to my area of interest and I can communicate with others that share my passion.
I was a little put off by twitter in the beginning. I followed great minds in my area of interest and they did not follow me back. I so wanted input on what I was doing with my blog and professional growth. I now know that I should have built my twitter with a few tweets and a profile before I started following others.
The truth is I am ok with basking in the glow of their experience. It is the one sided part of twitter. What is amazing is that through them, I have been introduced to other tweeters and their blogs. This is the 3-demensional side of twitter.
I would still like a physical person as a mentor, but I think I have found the perfect compromise. I like having my blog because it gives me an opportunity to mentor others, but I find satisfaction and gratitude for others within the twitter community. I have found my mentor(s).
Twitter has filled a void that has been vacant for a long time. What I am learning is that as I blog, I need to not only share technical information, but I need to make my voice a part of my sharing. I am following some great teachers who lead by example! Professionals need tutors too…. I believe that I have received the adventure of a lifetime; my golden ticket, in the most unlikely of places.
Shannon Gray has been a teacher for 18 years. As a military wife, circumstances have influenced her career; this has made her well rounded and she sees education from many perspectives. Shannon is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher who currently holds a masters in Special Education and Administration and is working on her doctorate in Educational Technology from Walden University. You can visit her blog on integrating technology into the classroom at www.edugrationtech.com, or follow her on Twitter @edugrationtech.
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