Empowering Students & Teachers

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Last week, I was reminded yet again why I absolutely love my job. Our district held its third annual Future Ready Conference. We had over 100 sessions that were offered to staff by our own staff, as well as some outside of the district presenters. It is a big undertaking to make a professional development day run like this, but with a great team working behind it, we were able to have a great day of learning.

Being a Tech Integrator, I am able to see the cool things that staff are doing throughout the high school. However, these ideas, projects, and concepts are not necessarily shared with peers. This conference helps highlight what goes on in our classrooms on a daily basis by empowering the staff to share their stories.

I want to particularly thank all of the staff at Bedford High School for taking the time to share their story. It was just another thing to do on an already long list of tasks. So THANK YOU! You know who you are.

ON ANOTHER NOTE…

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 5.03.24 PMWe were very fortunate enough to have John Spencer deliver our keynote this year. Some of us participated in an online book chat with one of his books, Empower. (To learn more about this, read a previous blog post). Teachers who participated, enjoyed the message that was shared. It was surreal to think that 7 months later, the district invited him to speak to the entire school district. His message focused on not forgetting that students are looking for adults to believe in them and how important it is for us to find ways to help empower them to learn. During his address, there were three key points that hit home with me.

  1. Your Voice

IMG_2010Wow, this was such a great quote from one of Spencer’s teachers. I love the message it sends. There are many ways by which we can make sure that our voices are shared. It does not always have to be done though a blog.

When you think of it, our conference is helping our staff share their voice! Staff are given the opportunity to share their voice on topics that they want to inspire others with. Our conference would not be as successful as it is without the willingness of staff presenting to their own peers. Amazing things are shared from all of our creative teachers.

2. Failure?

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I never really thought of failure and failing as having two different meanings before. We have all heard the message that it is ok to fail. Failure is good. But Spencer indicates he prefers the term failing as it is temporary. Failure is more permanent. When you think about it more, you find yourself agreeing with what Spencer is saying.

 

3. Digital Natives?

IMG_2014Now, this was an interesting point. Spencer indicated that students are not really digital natives. Instead, they are consumer natives. He brings this up because far too many times, students are looking for answers online to regurgitate information. Students are not being asked necessarily to create videos. Instead they are being asked to watch videos to get information. Sure it is important to be able to consume some information but Spencer argues that we need to push the envelop more and get students to doing and creating more.

 

Great day of learning. Great day to be a Bulldog. Great day to be a Tech Integrator. And that is my spiel…

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