I’m a teacher…I’m a leader…I’m a student


Golden Apples

The original name of this post was ” What do all high performing students around the world have?” I wrote the blog back in October after my very first #EdCamp experience. This weekend #EdcampChicago will be at Paletine HS.  I will not be a newbie, but I am just as excited to go and learn again. I thought you might enjoy reading this blog again or maybe for the first time. My hope is that it inspires you to always be a student!

 I attended an Ed Camp here in Chicago. I had heard many great things from my PLN  (Professional Learning Network: Twitter) community about these events. A sucker for PD, I signed up right away with fervor and eagerness to experience what others had said was life changing. I had the honor of interacting with and listening to many passionate teachers/leaders from all content areas. Some were first year teachers and some with many years under their belt; a plethora of knowledge and expertise surrounded me. If you have the opportunity to attend one, do yourself a favor and go! It is food for the learning soul!

As I attended each “organic” session topic, (formative assessment, standards based grading, quality picture books, authentic learning) and met faces I had only known from their Twitter picture (people are way more beautiful in person!), I was like a teacher with PTO money in a Lakeshore Learning store! At lunch, a new friend even noticed my wide eyes and wagging tail. My newness was exposed! The experience of owning my own learning for the day, interacting with colleagues who openly shared their knowledge, encouraged questions and clarification, openly solicited concerns and what-ifs, prompted me to reflect about the commonalities we all had today. We were all clearly highly qualified teachers with a passion and love for students and teaching!! It was one of those moments that I wished time froze for just a second so I could capture it and yell, “YES!! THIS IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!!! YES!!

We know a lot about the research that speaks to the relationship between the quality of the teacher and the impact on student growth and learning. Yet do we feel what I felt today each and every time we walk into our schools and classrooms? Isn’t that what a community of learning is supposed to feel like? Isn’t that what high quality teacher’s look and sound like? YES! It is! All of the educators that came today and many others around the world, these highly qualified teachers, possess the ability to passionately energize, engage, and share their many gifts with their colleagues and students, I believe daily!! What highly qualified teachers have in common I witnessed today…passion, love, and urgency to make a difference in their student’s lives, with no reservation for perceived obstacles!  A simple answer to a complex question. Thank you and bravo to all educators who recognize the importance of their work and contribute to their learning communities. I celebrate each and every one of you!! Honored to be an educator with you!

PS. When’s the next one?!

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