Webster defines catalyst as "a person or event that quickly causes change or action". This word and the definition embodies everything I want for myself and those around me this year. I want to BE change. I want to spark ideas, actions, and steps that bring about change or action for others and those around them.
Try Something New
After a monthly chat in February, #TABSEchat, I knew it was time for me to branch out and try new things. I love being an educator and know that it is more than a job, but a calling for me. It is my life's work. I love everything about being around children and watching them grow right before my eyes. I love having an impact on those who directly impact students daily through classroom instruction. I love casual conversations with students and learning about their lives, hopes, dreams, and desires. I was made to teach.
After the chat, it wasn't until almost halfway through 2015 that I decided to venture out from my safety net, or Leave My Island to Try Something New. I have written other posts to describe the awakening I have experienced in my own personal career and calling as an educator. However, once I did venture into the "great learning unknown", it opened a world of new possibilities and learning for me inclusive of organizing an Edcamp, attending and speaking at local, statewide, and national conferences, launching and growing my own Personal Learning Network and starting #webochat as a model for others in my school district. Last year was a wonderful year of growth and discovery for me!
While I have electrified my own personal learning, I feel as if others around me need this feeling too. I will BE a catalyst. It is not enough to simply grow on your own. As I think over the things that I have been able to learn, share, and experience over the past year, I think to myself, "What if others in my school were experiencing this with me?" What would happen if everyone took charge of their own learning and found opportunities to learn new things for our students? The result will be teachers who are excited about learning new things and exposing their students to innovative teaching and learning. How might I do this? It's simple. I will share all of my learning with others and invite them to take this journey with me.
Over the next 30 days, there are specific things I will do to BE a catalyst in my little corner of the educational world to help others grow and learn.
1. Invite others to participate in weekly Twitter chats.
Twitter is my 24 hour professional development spot. While I frequent a few chats
weekly, I have stumbled upon a few that I didn't even know about until I logged into my account. Twitter has been the gateway for me to learn about Edcamp along with many other conferences, edtech tools, and educational resources.
2. Use Voxer with teachers to share our learning.
Voxer is a walkie talkie app used to send and receive messages with others. There are several groups I am in that sharpen my learning sword all day long. From
educational technology to academic coaching, there is a place to grow with other like
minded educators. I will use the app with teachers I support in order to start
conversations in our building centered around sharing innovative teaching ideas.
3. Share my learning and encourage others to share theirs.
During Edcamp Voxer, Randall Sampson spoke about a three step process to share your professional learning. First, capture your learning. What did you learn? How did you apply it? What was the outcome? Next, curate your process. Organize what you
did through aritifacts collected along the way. This may include photos, videos,
pictures, or anything else that shows what happened during the process. T'hen,
share it with others. I am playing around with a new Pinterest board to capture,
curate, and share my learning from Edcamp Voxer.