Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Thankful Learner
Once upon a time, I met a wonderful friend who introduced me to a wonderful friend.

Has that happened to you? If you are a connected educator, I am sure it has.

I could list for you all the people that I have learned from in the wide world of Twitter or Facebook who have radically changed my life. Actually, I did do that. Then I deleted it. It looked more like a year book entry from my senior year of high school.

What I want to share with you is what I know now that I didn't...and I learned it all from you.

You encouraged me in my love of sharing one another's story and taught how to use something simple like 30 Hands or something more challenging like Touch Cast and everything in between to share a story.
Designed for me by Oliver Shinkten

From you, I learned billions of things about Google and other Google-ly things upon other Google-ly things and my mind exploded and then I realized that there is no way I can keep up and it is more like an a la carte line and you just pick up what you need and what works for your set of learners.

I learned about Blab, Periscope and GHO-ing and how that changes and brings people together to learn and how to use these for more ways to share stories.

Who ever it was that told me about Voxer, I'll never remember. Then, I joined Voxer groups; then I left Voxer groups because my phone exploded. Now I am limited my Voxer groups to just a few groups and that too is okay!

I became a TLAP educator because of you and kept sailing my pirate ship waving new flags like PVLEGS and Geniushour lover and how to put that all together in my classroom.

I fell in love with edcamps and then I went to more edcamps because of you and when you pointed me to TED Talks I figured out how to bring the spirit of both into the classroom.

You stepped back from the front of the classroom, so I bravely became the lead learner, not the Alpha and Omega of knowledge and I am very comfortable with letting the students own their own learning and to share out their learning without me.

I noticed when you remove your desk from your classroom. You created rotating office spaces in different areas of your schools so that you were no longer hiding behind desks and walls so I bravely did and pushed the students to find learning spaces in the room that fit them as well.

You stopped insanely grading piddly assignments and TOLD me you were D.O.N.E ... and so I did and I try to have very authentic and meaningful things to do...and sometimes, that is on paper, but not always.

You embraced your failures and learning through it and I became able to face plant myself in my failures and rise again without embarrassment...just a growth mindset.

I saw you love teaching and learning and I discovered that I still did too and you helped me find my way back to my roots (when I wanted to quit and join a circus) and find you why and I know know my why and that is my North Star.

I discovered books...upon books and yet, more books written by you and then Amazon and I formed a monthly relationship, and I was changed by Beyond the Bake Sale and Teach Like A Pirate and Creating Innovators.

You taught me the importance of helping others in my sphere of influence know that they mattered and that mattering is the agenda and why we are here and what teaching needs to be all about.

I learned explored many new streets and I have seen many wonderful things that I just can't even nail down to how it will fit with my classroom, but it is pretty neat-o in yours and I celebrate that we can have wonderful classrooms filled with gifted educators dedicated to passionate learning.

Mostly, I have learned and I have seen the world through  your eyes, virtually stepped into your classrooms and looked around. I have used my passport to learning well.

In this month of gratefulness and reflection, I know that my entire life was changed because of you and I am eternally grateful.  For all that we have learned together and for all that we will continue to learn together, I am eternally grateful.

Because of you, I am. Thank you.