Professional development is is absolutely imperative to growth.
Learning. That's why I became a teacher. I loved school, loved learning and questioned everything. My inquisitiveness has a different focus but that passion to learn is still there.
Anyone who thinks they have "arrived", and doesn't need to continue learning about teaching, about kids, about learning, is done. We all know them and they are easy to pick out of our staffs. Part of being a good leader is getting these members back into the game and that happens through development of meaningful relationships and professional development.
I believe strongly in professional development. And, although it doesn't have to be the traditional conference, conferences are are a powerful way to bring together people with shared interests to learn from each other.
I am passionate about learning but also using my skills so that others can learn. There is an incredible amount of work involved in organizing a conference but the management skills I have acquired while running 2 conferences is invaluable. It is one of my ways to give to a learning community that has supported me in my growth.
I am a member of the 21CTLS organizing team. Together with other teachers, leaders and administrators, we have held 6 very successful technology and learning conferences. We are able to tap into the amazing talent within Wolf Creek and many of our teachers present at this annual conference.
I am the co-founder and co-organizer for the Youth Tech Nation student led tech conference and part of a larger group of organizers of the 21 st Century Technology and Learning Symposium.
Myself and co worker, Kylie Kissel, have founded a youth technology conference that is 100% student led. It is in its second year and it was a magical day. I know that sounds corny, but it really was. Us teachers got out of the way and let the students go. What they did was above and beyond anything I expected. I compare it to the feeling of when your child is learning to ride a bike and then let you go of the bike and your child rides by themselves for the first time. That overwhelming swelling feeling of pride. That was the feeling during the whole conference. Kids that were not the typical super-stars shone as they taught their peers. Watching kids being engaged by other kids, and teaching them about the skills they will need in their future. Seeing fire and passion in their eyes and young leaders coming out of their shells. One of the side affects that I didn't anticipate was the profound effect of the students on some of the teachers and parents who attended. One teacher came to me and cried tears of pride when she described what she saw. She was so proud and moved by what these kids did. It summed up why I got into teaching.
Proud organizer of the following:
21ST CENTURY TECHNOLOGY AND LEARNING SYMPOSIUM