What Makes Someone An Expert ?

I have been steamed this week about a comment Martha Stewart decided she needed to share about bloggers. Here is the link to her comments: Martha
I contacted Home Depot to let them know I was not happy with the comments and got a nice letter back from Latilda Stewart Bush letting me know she was not aware of Martha’s comments but that she would pass this along. Please feel free to contact her too if you are so inclined. her number is (800) 654-0688 extension 76434 if you would rather talk to her.

All this steaming about the expert comment got me thinking…What makes someone an expert?
What is the tipping point that changes a person from being good at a certain skill to becoming an expert?

I am not an expert blogger. I am not very skilled with technology.
I do not have the time or energy to keep creating content for readers and I mess up projects regularly. I could not make a living off my blog even if I did have advertisements and went all out. I am better than I was a year ago, but man do I have things to learn!!

I am not an expert furniture painter, refinisher, or re-purposer. I have about an 80% personal satisfaction rate with my finished projects. Some projects I have to start over, some get pitched, and a few I pass along to someone else to fix. As a mediocre blogger, I try to lay it out there for you all warts and all. It is my hope that as I learn from trial and error, so do you.

I do consider myself an expert educator. I sound pretty full of myself when I say that but I am being honest. I know how kids learn, I can see straight through all the crap swirling around a kid to see real potential within him or her. I believe passionately that education changes lives. I get the opportunity to help other educators improve their craft. I get paid by districts to help them improve the education of children. I am paid a good living for what I love to do. I feel that I became an expert the only way anyone can in any field. I had and continue to have, a desire to learn. I learn all I can, read anything I can get my hands on. Early in my career I found mentors and peers who I could go to with problems or to bounce off ideas. I put in time in the trenches. I was a classroom teacher for 17 years at a variety of grade levels before moving to administration. I still network with others any chance I get. I try new things and sometimes I make mistakes but I keep at it. It took time, passion and dedication to the craft. It also takes a little courage to put yourself out there.

I spent all that time talking about me just to get to my point. There are bloggers who are experts in their fields. They draw you in with personal stories, they have amazing creativity, they are changing how we think about our homes and have emboldened us to try new things. They teach, encourage and redefine design, cooking and construction. My guess is that those bloggers became experts in their field much the same way I did my field.

Shame on anyone who belittles what they do.