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Being an educator is one of the greatest blessings in my life. I absolutely love what I do. I am a giver and being a teacher I am asked to give a lot of myself, which I gladly do. Teachers give freely of themselves and sometimes I get run down. I feel empty and need nourishment for my soul. It is a rare occurrence, in my life, that I just get to sit back and let people take care of me. The Reform Symposium allows me to do just that! All the brilliance that exists in my personal learning network (PLN) is at my finger tips. I feel pampered! I am able to sit in my own home, wear my comfy clothes, wear no make-up and learn at my own pace. That is such a wonderful gift! I do not have to pay to attend, fly to get there or beg for permission to go from my administration. I am able to catch those I did not make the live session, and I can go back to watch all of them again. The amazing thing to me is the best professional development I am able to be a part of is the reform Symposium…and it’s FREE. I know my district has spent thousands on professional development that make me contemplate getting a root canal to avoid the boredom!
The Reform Symposium was food for the teacher’s soul because each session reached a different part of a teacher’s soul that needs nurturing after the long, difficult school year!
The areas of the soul that are nurtured:
- Relationships keep us going, and I believe is most important! Connecting with people, all people, makes life worth living. Having ideas or strategies to connect with thestaff you work with , and most important, bonding with your students is the Identity Day presentation! You learn so much more about how to be the type of school we need to be for students! The focus George Couros has on students is amazing, and he is a role model for all educators.
- Many sessions nurture the creative part of my soul. I do many things in my classroom that the presenters share in these sessions, but I do not have a person that I can share ideas like this in my building. Seeing all of the different ways I can use these tools make my creative juices start to flow! I use blogs with my kids, but Sue Waters opens a whole new world with her session Student Blogging. Seeing other examples of book trailers in the session Creative Text Response by Judith Way has me seeing this in a whole new light! I have better ways to approach research in my classroom with the strategies Russ Goerend and Nate Kogan give in the session Research and its Movement from Analog
- The sessions even nurtures the tree hugger in me! Shelly Blake -Plock has a session called What We Do that shows we really can go paperless and be MORE effective! I am so impressed with what he does in his classroom and it makes me want to back to high school…really!
- Intellectual aspects of my soul are awakened when I watch Kevin Cruetz and Higher Order Thinking/Technology Skills that shows how technology allows us to reach the higher orders of thinking of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The Nerdy teacher, Nicholas Provenzano, relates teaching to movies in Everything I Learned about Tech Integration I Learned from Movies. Tim Gwynn points out that we need to change how we teach because…This Ain’t Your Mother’s Classroom. Students roll in the classroom is not a passive one as Jerry Swiatek shows that students can teach teachers.
- My need to have support and give support is illustrated very well by Tom Whitby as he explains how to create a Personal Learning Network. I am able to cheer on one of my favorite Twitter Friends Joan Young and her friend Lisa Dabbs helping the new teacher survive the first years of teaching, gain many tips for helping teachers that are new to our profession, and learn a few tips for myself!
- My inner child comes alive when I watch how Maria Anderson supports my deep belief that playing is learning!
- Being involved in a worthy cause is a need we all feel. It gives us that feeling that we are doing what we can to make life better. The closing keynote is worth watching over and over again because Steve Anderson gets you fired up to do something. Stand up and try to make the reform in education mean something. He is the reason I wrote this blog. As you can see, by my past posts…a blogger I am not!
This is just the tip of the iceberg! I have many more to session to watch and learn from. Please take time to learn from theses amazing educators. The coolest thing is even after you watch these videos there is a wonderful place you can get even more support! Twitter allows teachers to share ideas, learn new tools, get help and my favorite thing about Twitter is you can ‘meet” the most amazing people! Please visit the Reform Symposium to see all that is has to offer. If you want education to change you have to be willing to help in the fight, and this symposium will give you the tools to do so! As Steve Anderson says in his keynote “FIRE UP!”
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