Saturday, 14 February 2015

Things I Learned The Other Day

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of hearing George Couros speak at our annual district PD. I am glad I gave the push for him to come up. It was awesome having somebody of his caliber up hear as we don't have often have that chance up here so it was great to hear him for the first time (and not the last time I hope). One of his sessions was on blogging as a portfolio and although it got off task it got me think about some things and I started reflecting throughout the day on what I was learning content wise and about myself as well.

These are things that I had swirling around my head that day and for a few more days afterwards.

1. Supposedly I can be funny when I am really nervous and speaking in front of all of my district. Who knew? Not me! It was very interesting to hear from my colleagues that I was funny and looked like I had it under control (boy did I fool them).

2. I started realizing how far I've come in the 6.5 years that I've been teaching. My first year or two I wouldn't have struck up a conversation with somebody I didn't know unless necessary. So,  it is shocking to think about how  now I present at tech conversations in my province and even introduced George in front of a crowd. Until the last few years I wouldn't have joked around with people that weren't my family or close friends unlike I've started to do recently. At the PD day, I even found myself joking with George in person and on Twitter and I only met him face to face that day. I am starting to thing Twitter has played a role in this change in how I interact and take bigger risks in my day to day life. On Twitter I am able to share my thoughts and views as well as make connections with people from all over Canada and the world. I think being able to have those conversations online makes them easier in person with that same person when you meet them or with someone you already know. Perhaps, this is just another powerful reason to use Twitter.

3. Seeing George present allowed me to realize that I am on the right track in using social media to promote innovation in teaching and learning in my classroom. I know I need to continue on the path I am already on. I, also, learned that George is just a normal guy (albeit he does have some interesting tastes in music and movies) who promote and help others learn to do what I am already doing and trying to further implement in my classroom.

4. In reference to George's latest blog post on Feedback or Noise, if I understood it correctly,  I believe I am bringing up what is important to be pushed and I am working on making sure it isn't just noise as change is needed and our voices need to be heard.

5. I need to stop worrying about others thing. When it comes to PD planning not everybody will be happy and I just need to go with the words of Taylor Swift (right, George?) and Shake it Off. Haters are gonna hate!

6. Keep on sharing! I need to keep on share the amazing thing my students are doing so people can see how we are doing innovate and creative things in our class.

As I reflect back on the day, I can honestly say I made the best decision ever PD wise by bringing up George Couros as so much was learned by all. I was inspired to keep on doing what I am doing innovation wise.  I'll leave you with some gems and questions George posed that I related to. :

1. "I want to inspire students so they inspire me in return."
2. "Just in time learning doesn't make sense."
3. Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?" To which I would yes, as we have a great learning environment where we can take risks.
4. "Isolation is a choice."
5. "Change is the opportunity to do something amazing!"
6. "Relationships are everything."

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