Inspiring people

Some rights reserved by Striking Photography by Bo

There have been a few people that inspired me to be a better teacher, willing to take a risk and step out of my comfort zone.  I have seen Doug Johnson present at many conferences and have enjoyed his Blue Skunk Blog for several years.  Last year at the ECIS Librarians Conference I attended Joyce Valenza’s sessions.  I have followed her blogs for many years but this was the first time I saw her in action.  She has amazing energy and conveys her passion for working with children and giving them and educators all the tools they need.  Her blog for the School Library Journal is Never Ending Search.  Sums her up pretty well, I think.  Tara Ethridge is the elementary librarian at International School of Bangkok.  She is moving on after this year, and heading back to the classroom for a while.  Librarians around the world will miss her.  Her blog, Tech, Library, Classroom, is full of innovative ideas that she has done with her students and chock full of sites, books, and contacts that she has used.  I was privileged to work with her in Shanghai.  While in Shanghai, I was very lucky to share an office (for a time) with a young, hyper, passionate tech kid (I am old remember) that was always willing to help me try something new and fairly patient when he had to show me 3 more times how to do it.  He certainly pushed me.  You may have heard of him — Jeff Utecht.  Guess why I signed up for this program.

Now, I told you all that, to tell you this.   Joyce Valenza is attending the ASCD Conference in Philadelphia.  She has attended sessions by one of the people that inspires her, Heidi Hayes-Jacobs.  She writes about the first sessions on Heidi’s talk on her Never Ending Search blog.  Click here.  I am very interested in her comments about “differentiated professional development”.  She gives examples such as, “new teachers with great tech skills needing help with curriculum development and older teachers needing help with tech skills.”  As a good presenter should, she has given us some sites to look at and programs to use.

I have had the good fortune in my life to have people to inspire me.  I hope all of you do as well.

5 thoughts on “Inspiring people

  1. Yes, don’t we all have people who inspires us at different levels! Thank you for sharing and what a great way to thank those who made a difference in your life.
    I went on to explore Tara Ethridge’s library blog and loved the things she shares. On her blog I also found a link to a paperless planbook called PlanbookEdu. Have you heard of this before? Are you and/or people at your school using something similar? I’m still very much a paper-planner but am willing to try something new. Any tips?

    • Glad you found Tara’s blog. If you are ever at a conference where she is presenting, sit in on her session. We don’t use paperless planning as a group but it sounds like a good idea. I will have a look. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Sweet post…thanks for the mention. It’s all about finding those people that push and support you. Hopefully you’ll continue to build your RSS reader and the relationships with those people. Twitter is great for this too, to stay connected with people and not only learn from them, but learn who they are in the process.

  3. Gwen, I love all these years we have known each other and shared ideas, and that we both got to see Doug and Joyce in action. Here’s to many more!

    • We will have to find conferences that we can both attend so we can have a glass of wine and catch up from time to time. And attend some great workshops of course.

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