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It Can’t Just Be One.

It’s terribly difficult to make time for this blog when there’s no outside reason pushing me to do just that, so I’m excited that Tricia posed this opportunity to blog over the next five months with some support of a few others joining this short journey. I always have such great intentions to write here, but, well, you know…

As part of this challenge, a series of potential prompts was posted. Inspired by Sonya terBorg’s Learning2 talk this spring at the American School of Warsaw entitled, “Who is Your Amy?” I’ve decided to write a bit about the Amy’s in my life.

Sonya was inspired by the work of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and shared her views thoughts about this incredible author at the conference. She left us with the question, “Who is your Amy? Who inspires you to do more?”

For me, there can’t just be one person. When I think of the collective group of people in my life, there are several people who I take inspiration from, who encourage me to strive for more, to be the best version of myself that I can be.

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One of those people is a former co-worker, who shared her wisdom with me for three years and was a constant source of reassurance and guidance. She had a great listening ear and often knew just the right piece of advice to offer. She kept up with many new trends, apps, and strategies in education and was always willing to share her knowledge without hesitation. This co-worker is a great mother, teacher, learner, but most importantly, friend. Tammy, thank you for your wisdom and your willingness to give so much of yourself to others! I feel so blessed to have had three years of your side by side partnership! Follow Tammy on Twitter for your own source of inspiration.

Like Sonya, I’m also inspired by someone I’ve never met. I watch the videos posted by Casey Neistat to YouTube and find his passion and attitude refreshing. Casey strives to do more and become the best version of himself. (This sounds strikingly similar to Amy Krouse Rosenthal.) Some days Casey’s videos are just fun, and sometimes educational, but often he offers words of wisdom acquired through his years of experience in business, film and life. Listening to him inspires me to do more, try harder, and push myself to become better. I even mentioned Casey last year in my own L2 talk.

My entire PLN on Twitter has also become a huge source of inspiration. I follow so many amazing people who continue to share new and innovative methods that encourage learning and growing amongst our students and ourselves. This includes some amazing educators like Tricia, who digest books like a crazy person, Pana, who’s always sharing some super creative coding ideas, and Kim, who is helping me navigate the beginning of our iPad and portfolio adventures with so many great ideas and answering a myriad of ridiculous questions that I have. And this just skims the surface because there are so many amazing men and women that help to inspire so many educators like myself around the world.

Who are the people that inspire you and why? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Learning 2.015 Manila

Last week I was lucky enough to have the chance to attend Learning2 at the International School of Manila.

Almost a week has gone by and I’m still wow’ed by the thoughts running through my head.

What’s at the top of the list?

Sam Sherratt’s talk on breaking free from the molds that we all find ourselves stuck in: schedules, what a ‘teacher’ is, the school itself. He drew all his own visuals (I think in the Paper app for iPad) and they were amazing.

And I’m still thinking about what he said.

And thinking about how I can break free of the molds around me.

It makes me think that moving to Asia to work isn’t a bad idea.

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Listening to both Jeff and Kim speak is always a highlight. They are both so passionate about education and the direction we should be heading.

Kim focused on rethinking our perceptions of social media in a classroom and allowing our students to use those platforms to share their learning. She says, “We can empower our students to build communities around ideas that matter to make a difference in our world today.”

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Jeff questioned, “What do we need to replace because it’s 2015?” He went on to wonder why any 2nd grader is learning about maps on paper, since no one uses that format any longer. It’s a really good question. Shouldn’t we be teaching the students how to navigate Google Maps on the devices so that they are learning the modality they’ll use in real life?

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Towards the end of his talk he mentioned the idea that all international schools want to be a “leading” school, but also ask for the research behind a new idea he might present. Jeff stipulated that leading schools don’t follow the research, they create it.

I had never looked at it like that before.

But it is so true.

And thought provoking.

I wonder how many school directors will take the time to really think about that idea.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the conference was the role the students played. They were active in several workshops I attended and two high school students lead a workshop on Makey Makeys that I was blown away by. High school students leading a room full of teachers. They had great visuals and plenty of hands-on activities.

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Many adults could take a few lessons from these students.

And now, I sit in my desk in Milan, exactly six months in advance of the Learning2 conference in Milan.

It’s going to be awesome!

But there’s still a long way to go between here and awesomeness!

Time to get back to work!

 

We hope you’ll join us for Learning2 in Milan April 7-9, 2016!