Monday, October 12, 2015

Connecting with Other Educators

The last year has included many firsts for me as a professional.  The most exciting and impactful have been the opportunities given to me to share my learning in and outside of the district as a part of Iowa's Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) grant.

This spring I participated in a Teacher Leadership Panel with Iowa School Librarians at #iasl15 with one of my teachers who was a Teacher Librarian in our district.  We spoke about Teacher Leadership in our district and how we make it fit best into how we learn and grow as educators.  Our panel was moderated by Sarah Brown-Wessling, so that was exciting in itself!

I have also gotten the opportunity to share our journey several times with our Benton Community Teacher Leadership team.  One of these times was at Iowa ASCD this spring at the Standards-Based Grading conference.  The Keynote speaker was Mr. Ken O'Connor.  We shared our SBG journey so far and gained some powerful take-aways to bring back to our district.

Another great opportunity we have had this fall is the chance to speak with Maddie Fennell with the United States Department of Education about our Teacher Leadership program in place at Benton Community Schools.  We shared all aspects of our Teacher Leadership journey including struggles and successes.  We were empowered by the encouragement we received after her visit to continue with our district vision of teacher leadership! 

We also had a great opportunity to share our TLC journey with other educators in Iowa and learn from others at the same time.  We fashioned our own #BCedCamp experience for Teacher Leaders in our school district, and then a few weeks later, we shared again at Mt. Mercy University's Teacher Leadership Symposium.  The great thing about opportunities like this is that we share our journey, but at the same time, we are getting great ideas from other districts who are just as willing to share tips and tricks of what works for them in their districts.  This allows us to work smarter, not harder, and it gives us more time to focus on making impactful decisions in our district to move students forward.

This summer and this fall were by far my most favorite sharing opportunities.  A few co-workers continued to push me outside of my comfort zone.  We presented at two technology conferences! At #iPadU and #ITECia, I was blessed with the opportunity to share about our social media story at Benton Community.  By far most exciting, however, was when we brought students to share in their digital learning with us.  We had students travel to both Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to come and teach other teachers how to use iPad apps they are fluently using every day in their primary classrooms!

These powerful learning opportunities could not have been possible without my amazing coworkers who I am blessed to work with every day. They push me to be better, work harder, and learn more than I ever have before.  I am grateful for these experiences, and I'm eager to continue learning with these inspirational coworkers at my side!

No comments:

Post a Comment